DETROIT, MI – In yet another tragic event for the Transgender community in Detroit, a student from Wayne State University was found murdered Saturday morning.
Amber Monroe, 20-years-old, was found shot and killed near 6 Mile and Woodward. This is an area that those in the transgender community are known to frequent. Palmer Park is located along Woodward Avenue, between 6 and 7 Mile. The area east to John R and up to 8 Mile is a well known popular gathering place for transgender women and young gay men. Many in the LGBTQ community live there and some work the streets to survive day to day. If this murder is connected, this would bring to five people lost in the community.
Yvonne Siferd, director of Victim Services for Equality Michigan released the following statement:
Our hearts are heavy with grief that we have lost another vibrant member of our community too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Amber’s family and friends whom she clearly loved deeply.
We have no idea yet whether this attack was fueled by transphobia, but we do know that Amber’s murder is the 12th murder of a transgender woman in the United States this year, and the 10th murder of a transgender woman of color. Transgender women, and especially transgender women of color, are disproportionately affected by violence.
Her life was just beginning; I know that this loss will leave so many people with a hole in their lives and with more questions than answers. Let’s come together to celebrate her life, and work for real change so that our transgender sisters can be free from persecution. I know we can do better. We have to do better.
All five targets are transgender women. The first that can be attributed to these crimes happened in November of 2013. The 53-year-old transgender woman was found on November 8th, 2013 shot to death and burned beyond recognition in a black trash container in an alley behind a bar near 6 Mile and Woodward. The body was discovered by a mother and son looking for bottles and scraps in trash cans.