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Friends and family mourn the horrific murder of Rem’mie Fells, a Black trans woman whose body was found dismembered in a river

Emma Powys Maurice June 12, 2020
'Say her name': Dominique 'Rem’mie' Fells remembered at candlelit vigil

Dominique Rem’mie Fells was remembered at a vigil with candles, flowers and a mural bearing her name. (Facebook)

Philadelphia’s LGBT+ community has been devastated by the shockingly violent murder of a Black transgender woman. Warning: contains graphic reports of extreme violence.

The horrific murder of Dominique Rem’mie Fells, a Black trans woman living in Philadelphia, is being “rigorously investigated” by police.

Officers recovered the dismembered body on the banks of the Schuylkill river on Tuesday (June 9). Her remains were found in a suitcase with both legs severed mid-thigh, and there was also evidence of trauma to the face and head.

Fells’ younger sister, Dior Edmonds, has shared her grief in a fundraiser for her funeral costs. “Our family is in mourning and in utter disbelief that something like this could happen to one of our own,” she wrote.

“Dominique, who often went by the name Rem’mie, was truly one of a kind. We can assure all of you that we will not stop until her killers are found and justice is served accordingly.”

Transgender women of colour like Dominique Rem’mie Fells face disproportionate levels of violence and abuse (Facebook)

Philadelphia’s office of LGBT Affairs shared “with deep sadness” the news of Fells’ death on social media.

“The pain of such a loss is always difficult, but it is especially deep as we are in the midst of Pride month — a season typically filled with joy and celebration for many in our community,” they wrote.

“As thousands take to the streets to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, it is critical we remember that this includes Black trans lives. Dominique Rem’mie Fells’ life mattered.

“We are reminded with this, and countless other painful losses — especially within our transgender communities — that there is much left to do until we achieve full equality, respect, and support for us all.

“The murder of transgender people — especially those of colour — is truly an epidemic, and a crisis that we cannot afford to allow to persist any further.”

As they extended their deepest condolences to Fells’ loved ones, the group reiterated their commitment to ensuring that “acts of discrimination, bigotry, and hatred are never tolerated in the city of Philadelphia”.

“Know that we see you, we grieve with you, and we join you in solidarity at this time of great sadness,” they added, with a promise to “uplift her memory together”.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the Philadelphia Police Department by dialing 911, calling the PPD Anonymous Tipline at (215) 686-TIPS, or submitting a tip via the PPD website (phillypolice.com).

More: black lives matter, Philadelphia, transgender murder, transgender women of colour

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