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Angel Haynes, a ‘free-spirited, smart and giving’ transgender woman, shot dead as anti-trans violence spirals in Trump’s America

Patrick Kelleher November 2, 2020
Angel Haynes

Angel Haynes (Facebook/GoFundMe)

Angel Haynes has become at least the 34th transgender person to be murdered in the United States so far this year.

Haynes, 25, lived in Jackson, Tennessee, but was staying in a hotel in Whitehaven, Memphis when she was shot dead on October 25.

Police were called to the Motel 6 on East Brooks Road, near Fontaine Road, at 2.19am and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Haynes, a cosmetologist, had contacted her friend Shinese Weddle earlier that evening to say that she would be staying at the motel.

“Angel wasn’t only my best friend, she was my sister,” Weddle said, according to WREG.

“She was the only friend I had and now she’s gone.”

The latest victim of an epidemic of violence against trans women, Haynes had promised to call Weddle and let her know that she arrived – but she was shot dead before she got the chance.

She was taken away from her mom, grandmother, uncle… she was taken away from all of us unexpectedly.

Weddle believes she was likely targeted because she was a Black trans woman, saying they “really don’t like people like that” in the Whitehaven area of Memphis.

Haynes is at least the 34th transgender person murdered this year.

Angel Hayes remembered by friend and family.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family pay for Angel Haynes’ funeral and end-of-life expenses, as she did not have insurance.

“Angel was free-spirited and wasn’t afraid to be no-one but herself,” the fundraiser reads.

The friend described Haynes as “caring, determined, funny, smart and giving” and added: “Unfortunately, our time with her was cut very very short. She was MURDERED!! She was taken away from her mom, grandmother, uncle… she was taken away from all of us unexpectedly.”

Friends and family gathered on Friday (October 30) where they held a candlelit vigil to remember Haynes.

Her death was mourned by the Transgender Law Centre, which tweeted: “Our Memphis community is mourning Angel Haynes this week. In a week of grief after anti-Black murders like that of Walter Wallace Jr, we know Black trans folks are doubly carrying a heavy burden right now.”

With two months left, 2020 is already the deadliest year on record for the murder of trans people in the United States, with Black trans women disproportionately affected.

 

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