The transgender community in New Orleans is shaken by the news that two transgender women have been murdered within 48 hours of each other.
CNN affiliate WDSU reported that Chyna Gibson was shot to death Saturday night and another woman was found with multiple stab wounds Monday morning.
Police do not believe the killings are related. At a news conference on Wednesday, officials said that no arrests have been made yet. They are cautioning members of the LGBT and transgender community to be vigilant about meeting strangers.
— Mara Jacqueline (@MaraWillow) February 26, 2017
Transgender activist Daphanie Dupree told WDSU the situation was deeply frightening to members of the community.
“It’s scary because like a lot of the girls in New Orleans, they’re walking around like zombies, you know they have this little hidden fear that’s inside them to even go anywhere and I hear a lot of them talking about like ‘oh, I’m going to carry a gun,'” said Dupree.
“It’s very heartbreaking and it’s scary because it’s too close to home, I mean it could happen to any of us but I’m like — we hang in the same circles, we hang in the same area just like it happened to them it could happen to me.”
Police Commander Doug Eckert noted in a media conference that two crimes in two days showed an increase in violence against transgender people in the city.
“I mean one is too many and that’s how we feel,” Eckert said.
Eckert does not believe that the stabbing was a hate crime. “If we learn that it’s a hate crime of course we’ll pursue the charges of that,” he said.
The advocacy group, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), said it had responded to seven reported killings of transgender women of color in the first two months of the year. In a statement they released by the group.
they said, “As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives.”
According to GLAAD and other advocacy groups, last year the deaths of 26 transgender people were reported, more than any other year.
[Feature Photo: Police Handout]