Kiér Laprí Kartier, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, shot dead in Texas

·3-min read

A 21-year-old Black trans woman called Kiér Laprí Kartier has been shot dead in Texas.

Her death is at least the 38th violent death of a trans or gender non-conforming person in the US in 2021.

Kartier was shot on 30 September in an apartment complex in Arlington, Texas.

Police were called when a citizen noticed an unresponsive person in a parked car with its passenger door open and the engine running.

Kartier was taken to Arlington Memorial Hospital where she later died. According to them, her best friend DayVion Haggerty told local news that “everybody just loved who she was”, including her family.

Officials are appealing for witnesses and surveillance video, according to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), who have reported her death as part of their work tracking fatal anti-trans violence.

HRC said friends are remembering Kartier on social media as a “very strong, independent person” who “always had my back through thick and thin”.

“With Kartier’s death, we’ve already recorded more incidents of fatal violence this year than at this time last year,” said Tori Cooper, director of community engagement at HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative. “These attacks on our community must stop, and we need to direct resources toward supporting and protecting transgender and non-binary people.”

In the past three years, eight trans women of colour have been shot in Texas, with seven of them dying of their injuries. All seven who died were Black trans women.

Naomi Green, HRC fellow, said that she moved to Dallas three years ago.

“I didn’t know that when I moved here I was moving to a place where being trans means being more deserving to die,” Green said. “That a trans life was not equivalent to any other life and was less deserving.

“That is the mentality of many outside our LGBTQ+ community here and it has to stop. We need the help of others to stop the senseless violence and killing of trans people in this city. My heart goes out to this lovely trans sister who lost her life at only 21 and all those who loved and knew her.”

Last month, Brianna Hamilton, a Black trans woman, was shot dead in Chicago, Illinois. Killed on 17 September, she was 25 years old when she died.

In the 10 months of 2021, the community has also mourned: Disaya Monaee, Tyianna Alexandra, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Dominique Lucious, Jaida Peterson, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smüt, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Jahaira DeAlto Balenciaga, Keri Washington, Sophie Vásquez, Danny Henson, Whispering Bear Spirit, Serenity Hollis, Oliver ‘Ollie’ Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, Novaa Watson, Aidelen Evans, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo and Pooh Johnson.

In 2020, 44 trans and gender non-conforming people were violently killed in the US – more than in any other year since HRC began tracking such deaths in 2013.

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