Brayla Stone, a 17-year-old trans teen from Little Rock, Arkansas, and Merci Mack, a 22-year-old trans woman from Dallas, Texas, were murdered in late June, making them the 17th and 18th violent (recorded) deaths of transgender people in 2020 in the U.S.
Over the weekend, a man was charged for killing Stone, whose body was found on June 25 in a parked vehicle
Arkansas Online reports: “Trevone Miller, 18, has been arrested on a charge of capital murder, according to police. Miller was being held Thursday evening in the Pulaski County jail. … Earlier this week, before the arrest, Sherwood police spokesman officer Richard McNeil wrote in an email that ‘at this time we do not have any indication or evidence’ as to whether the crime was motivated by hate or bias. At the time, McNeil said he could not release a cause of death.”
“Brayla Stone was a child. A child, just beginning to live her life. A child of trans experience. A young Black girl who had hopes and dreams, plans and community,” said Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “As a nation, we failed Brayla — as we have failed every transgender or gender non-conforming person killed in a country that embraces violence and upholds transphobia, racism, homophobia. Guns are not as important as people.”
Mack’s body was found on June 30 at an east Oak Cliff apartment complex in Dallas, according to police. She had gunshot wounds to the head.
“A passerby found her unconscious in the parking lot of the complex, in the 3000 block of East Ledbetter Drive, about 6:15 a.m. She was pronounced dead by Dallas Fire-Rescue,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
“Another Black transgender woman has had her life stolen from her,” said Cooper. “We cannot become numb to the fact that our community has learned of more killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past few weeks than HRC has ever tracked in the past seven years. Her friends say that Merci Mack was a young, upbeat soul who deserved to experience a full life. HRC is mourning with Merci’s loved ones and are calling for a full, thorough investigation into her death.”