The 19th trans person to be killed in the US so far this year has been named by local activists
UPDATE (October 2 2019): Since this story was published, PinkNews encountered new information regarding the gender identity of Ja’leyah-Jamar, who was alleged trans.
Friends, relatives and community leaders have since stated that Berryman was a gender nonconforming man, not trans.
The 19th reported killing of a trans American this year alone took place on Friday in Kansas City, Kansas, and has been named by loved ones and activists as Ja’leyah-Jamar Berryman.
The victim was identified as in their 20s and was shot to death on the corner of North 60 Street and Leavenworth Road, according to Kansas City Police Department news release.
Law enforcement were called to investigate a shooting at 2:38pm in the outer town area, filled with auto repair shops and community churches. They arrived to find the injured victim in the middle of the road.
Berryman was quickly taken to hospital and tended by medics. But died shortly after from her injuries, the release stated.
While authorities have not released a name of the victim, family, friends and activists identified her.
Family and trans activists mourn the loss.
Adriana Sanders, the victim’s cousin, posted on Facebook: “Ja’leyah-Jamar didn’t ask for this life… No one can control who they love, God made us to live and love and to grow.
“It’s not our fault as a transgender woman or a homosexual man to want to live a normal life, wanting to be in love, have a family, build your own legacy and, because a man could not accept who he was as himself and an individual, he felt the need to take my cousin’s life,” she wrote, according to The Advocate.
Local LGBT+ advocates have also joined in mourning the loss of yet another trans woman of colour in a country experiencing an alarming epidemic of transphobic cruelty.
“Another black trans woman was killed in Kansas City this weekend!” activist Merrique Jenson posted on Facebook.
“Kansas City is one of the epicentres of violence towards trans women of colour, particularly black trans women, in this country!”
Jenson was sharing information from local trans community leaders and agencies, who corroborated with local black trans folk who knew Berryman “directly”.
“While she is still being misgendered and misidentified by most [Kansas City] media outlets, community advocates have already begun to share updates as we learn more.
“I encourage agencies with social, political and financial power to do something about this.”
Jamar’s death comes just months after Brooklyn Lindsey in June.
The 32-year-old, who enjoyed make-up, dancing in front of the mirror, and once talked of adopting a child, became the 11th reported trans woman of colour to be killed in the US this year. She was found by locals murdered across the state line in Kansas City.
Police release photos of unidentified man and vehicle sought in connection.
Investigators released a photograph of a suspect last week.
They described the man as a person of interest on a news release, as well as two photos of a vehicle – a white 2006 Pontiac G6 with Kansas tag 038 LXW.
The vehicle was found near 13th Street and Euclid Avenue.
Moreover, the suspect was reportedly last seen walking west from that location.
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Anyone with information is urged to call the Kansas City Police Department’s TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-8477.
Kansas City Police Department told PinkNews it had no additional information and then directed PinkNews to its earlier, official news releases.
19 trans people killed in 2019.
Berryman is the latest victim of a spectre of violence against trans people, in particular black trans women.
At least 19 trans people have been killed in 2019, 18 of which are trans women of colour. Their names are Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears, Brooklyn Lindsey, Denali Berries Stuckey, Kiki Fantroy and Pebbles LaDime Doe. Tracy Single, Bailey Reeves, and Bee Love Slater.
The LGBT+ community has also this year mourned Jordan Cofer, a white trans man who was killed in a mass shooting.