Dana Martin, a black transgender woman fatally shot January 6 in Montgomery, Alabama, is the first known trans person killed this year in the U.S., HRC reports.
Martin, 31, was discovered inside her vehicle, which was found in a roadside ditch. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, no arrests have been made and the police investigation is ongoing.
Martin was initially misgendered by law enforcement, who had responded to a call about a vehicle crash, as well as early local media reports.
“That’s a sister, even though she’s not here to defend herself,” Daroneshia Duncan-Boyd, founder of Transgender Advocates Knowledgeable Empowering, tells Into. “We still have a community in loss that is willing to defend her.”
Other friends and information on Martin's Facebook page confirm that she identified as a transgender woman.
MPD public information officer Regina Duckett says legal documents currently identify Martin as male. “How a homicide victim identifies is a personal matter that becomes relevant to the investigation only if it is determined that it was a reason the victim was killed,” she explains. “At this point, the circumstances of this homicide are unknown, and MPD will continue to pursue all leads and avenues for prosecution.”
At least 25 trans Americans were killed in 2018, an epidemic that disproportionately affects trans women of color.