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Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders, a Black trans woman, murdered in a car park. She was just 23

Josh Milton March 14, 2021
On the left: Diamond 'Kyree' Sanders poses in the back of a car wearing a white fur jacket. On the right: Diamond 'Kyree' Sanders smiles

Diamond 'Kyree' Sanders. (Facebook/Cincinnati Police Department)

Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders, a Black trans woman and keen traveller who loved her family and fashion deeply, has been murdered in Ohio. She was 23.

Sanders was killed 3 March in Cincinnati in what police officials have described as a “crime of greed”, Gay City News reported.

Authorities found her fighting for her life in a car park by the Clifton Colony Apartments in the 3200 block of Morrison Avenue.

While detectives did consider whether the incident could have been a hate crime, a Cincinnati Police Department spokesperson said the force now believes the killing “had nothing to do with the victim’s lifestyle”.

The Voice of Black Cincinnati reported on Facebook that the perpetrator also stole Sanders’ purse and mobile phone. It urged anybody with information to text “CINTIP” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders was described by those who knew her as a “traveller, known to be in New York City one week and New Orleans the following week”.

“Sanders was really into fashion,” read a touching Facebook tribute by pressure group Gays Against Guns.

“She always coordinated her attire from head to toe, including matching hair and nails.”

Sanders was an affectionate woman who sought to remind her family how much she adored them whenever she could. Even as a child, she would often shout: “I love my whole family!”

“At the last family Thanksgiving dinner, Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders let her family know she was thankful that they accepted her for who she was as a transgender person,” the statement concluded.

We should not have to keep track of Black trans people whose lives are stolen’

As a family mourns the loss of a daughter, activists reckon with what her death represents. Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders is, according to LGBT+ monitoring groups, at least the 11th known trans or gender non-conforming person slain in the US this year.

In less than three months, the community has mourned Tyianna Alexandra, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca Bankz, Dominique JacksonFifty BandzAlexus BraxtonChyna Carrillo, Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady and Jenna Franks.

It’s a startling figure that advocates say, as high as it is, still fails to grasp the full extent of the violence.

Local officials are not required to report homicides to a centralised database, and the police and press consistently deadname and misgender trans victims.

The fact remains that transphobic killings are on the rise, prompting vigilance – and fear – in a community increasingly inured to brutality.

“We should not have to keep track of Black trans people whose lives are stolen – period,” National Black Justice Coalition executive director David Johns said in a statement.

“Instead we should be giving them their flowers – celebrating their many contributions to the culture, our community and the country.

“Since we don’t have that luxury, we try to keep a tally.

“It is never lost on me that last year, 2020, was the deadliest year on record when thinking about the stolen lives of Black trans members of our community, in part because this year we’re on track to outpace last year’s loss.”

More: transphobia

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