Muhlaysia Booker, a Dallas-based transgender activist who made headlines after her brutal mob beating was caught on camera last month, was found dead this past weekend.
According to The New York Times, Dallas police confirmed at a press conference Sunday that Booker, 23, was shot and killed in a "homicidal" incident. Investigators have no evidence linking this murder to the previous attack Booker endured.
Booker's death isn't an isolated incident. Transgender Americans face disproportionately high rates of hate-motivated violence. Last year alone, at least 25 trans Americans were murdered—and like Booker (pictured below), the majority of 2018's victims were transgender women of color.
According to the FBI's most recent statistics, hate crimes are on the rise, with a 17% year-to-year increase in reported hate crimes between 2016 and 2017.
After news of Booker's murder went public, Lee Merritt, a Dallas-based civil rights attorney, told Dallas News that her violent death is doubly concerning for hate crime victims, who fear retaliation if they come forward.
"There is a legitimate concern that the community doesn't take seriously," Merritt added.
Shortly after her attack in April, Booker had spoken to Dallas' LGBTQ community at a rally.
"This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community, and also the city of Dallas,” Booker had told onlookers from a podium. "This time, I can stand before you. Whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”