Community members, friends and family will come together this evening for a vigil in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the life of Deoni Jones, a 22-year-old transgender woman who was fatally stabbed on Thursday, February 2.
The Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), the only national social justice organization that promotes the interests of trans people of color, joins the D.C. Transgender Coalition (DCTC), the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), GLAAD and other advocacy organizations in honoring her memory.
According to a press release from the D.C. Transgender Coalition (DCTC), an altercation between the victim and her attacker broke out at the bus stop, which resulted in the victim being stabbed in the face. A third person at the bus stop reportedly chased after attacker, but ceased pursuit in order to assist the victim upon realizing she was in serious need of medical attention. The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is searching for the suspect and is still investigating whether they will pursue her murder as a hate crime.
“Deoni’s murder is a tragic reminder of the work that still lies ahead of us,” says Kylar Broadus, founder of TPOCC. “We must continue to take steps to ensure that members of our trans community can safely live their lives without being targeted and harmed for who they are.”
This unfortunate death highlights the enormous discrimination transgender and gender non-conforming people of color face every day. Hate crime data released last year by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs showed that transgender women constituted 44 percent of LGBT hate crime victims in the past year, and people of color, like Deoni, constituted 70 percent of the victims.
GLAAD mourns Deoni’s death and sends our condolences to her friends, family, and loved ones during this difficult time.
Please join members of the community at the bus stop at East Capitol and Sycamore Streets NE at 5:30 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, February 7, for a candlelight vigil. Deoni’s funeral will be held on Saturday, February 11, at King Memorial Baptist Church, 2324 Ontario Road NW, with viewing from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m., and the service beginning at 11:00 a.m.