A black trans woman was shot and killed in North Carolina, her body discovered in a field in the small town of Lumberton just after midnight on Wednesday night, in the early hours of Thursday morning, June 6.
Chanel Scurlock, 23, lived in the even smaller nearby town of Lumber Bridge, and authorities found her while investigating a call reporting gunfire. Local media referred to Scurlock with a male name and identity. So too did Scurlock's mother, Brenda Scurlock, who urged her child's murderer to turn themselves in.
However, trans activist and journalist Monica Roberts identified Scurlock as transgender, and a friend said they were "proud of you for being unapologetically correct about your feelings and expectations of YOU" in a remembrance post.
According to Scurlock's mother, friends were concerned over a recent connection she made with a man said to have removed a Facebook page showing her presenting as a woman. She said she was surprised her child was going to meet up with the man who took down the page, "because that’s a red flag right there."
"It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive," Helen Parshall wrote for HRC.
"This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color—particularly Black transgender women—must cease."
Scurlock is at least the ninth transgender person killed in the United States this year, all of them black trans women.
Earlier this month, 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey was discovered deceased, having been shot and killed, on June 1, in Dallas. She is the third trans person killed in the city within a year, and the second in two months.
And last month alone, four black trans women died as a result of gun violence: Claire Legato in Cleveland, Muhlaysia Booker in Dallas, Michelle “Tamika” Washington in Philadelphia, and Paris Cameron in Detroit.
"This cowardly act has to be addressed and a person or persons will be held accountable and brought to justice," said Sheriff Burnis Wilkins of the Robeson County Sheriff's Office about Scurlock's death.