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Crime

Family of transgender woman killed say they want ‘everyone to be comfortable with who they are’

Lydia Smith June 29, 2018

The family of a transgender woman killed in Florida have called for justice in the wake of a string of shootings targeting trans people.

Cathalina Christina James, 24, was fatally shot in Jacksonville on June 24.

James, who is survived by three sisters and one brother, was pronounced dead at a local hotel and an investigation into her death has been launched.

James’ sister, Deandra, called for justice for her sibling.

“We want everyone to be comfortable with who they are,” she said, as reported by local news outlet WISTV.com.

James’ brother described the victim as a loving person, saying the family “really want answers for the heinous crime”.

Keisha Wells, a transgender woman, was fatally shot on the same day in Cleveland (Getty)

Friends shared their condolences on social media.

“Another trans girl shot and killed is the last thing I want to head. No [matter] the life we may know they lived there is a level of respect that should be held to life. Rest in peace Cathalina Christina James put some respect on her name.”

According to Human Rights Watch, there have been 113 incidents of fatal violence against transgender and non-binary people since 2013. Of those killed, 64 were victims of gun violence.

Human rights groups have warned the number of victims could be higher, as this does not include trans victims whose deaths were not reported due to misgendering in police reports, news stories or by their families.

At least 26 transgender people were killed in the US in 2017 (Mark Makela/Getty)

Those targeted are often trans women of colour.

Activist Christina Kittle told local newspaper The Jacksonville: “This isn’t something that should be considered normal. People are dying, this is very serious.”

“A lot of my friends are scared, they’re just scared to go out. I mean, I would be scared, too,” Kittle said.

On the same day, another trans woman was fatally shot in Cleveland.

Keisha Wells, 58, was found in the car park of an apartment building with a gunshot wound to the abdomen on Detroit Avenue.

No arrests have been made yet and the investigation is ongoing, according to Cleveland.com.

More: Crime, Florida, Transgender, transphobia, US, US

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