A vigil was held yesterday for 31-year-old Yaz’min Shancez, a transgender woman living in Fort Myers, Florida. Despite being burnt and hidden behind a dumpster, Shancez’s death was not initially being investigated as a hate crime according to Fort Myers Police Lt. Jay Rodriguez, but have since ruled the death a homicide.
“If you really think about it, a hate crime is killing someone for a specific reason, being black, Hispanic, gay.” Said Rodriguez. “We’re investigating as we would any other homicide.”
Shancez’s death is yet another example of disproportionately high homicide rates borne by trans women of color.
Shancez’s family has erected a memorial to her at the site where her remains were found, and is currently trying to crowdsource funds to give her the funeral she deserves.