Earlier this week, Detroit police released CCTV footage of a black trans woman attempting to wrestle a gun from a man who shot and wounded her.
The footage, filmed at a gas station, confirmed what we already know: America has a fatal problem with gun violence, as well as a deadly preoccupation with harming trans women – particularly trans women of colour.
In an statement issued to local Michigan news station MLive, officers confirmed that the suspect fled after the shot was fired.
The woman in question is currently being treated at a local hospital and is expected to recover, yet police haven’t determined whether or not the shooting could officially be classified as a hate crime.
Official statistics show that the number of hate crimes committed in Michigan increased by 65 times following the election of President Trump, making it the fourth most dangerous state for minorities in the United States in 2016.
Despite this spike in hatred, reports show that state-wide hate crime laws include protections based on race and religion, but not for gender or sexuality. The author of a Michigan Radio blog even went so far as to claim that the local gay community knows that “the police do little to investigate crimes against them.”
That’s not to say the law can't still be strict – earlier this year, a man was convicted for the armed robbery and assault of a trans woman.
He was later sentenced to 32-55 years in jail.
Incidents like these demonstrate that anti-trans sentiment is increasingly on the rise – already this year, sixteen trans people have been killed. Last year, twenty-eight were murdered.
These figures are likely the tip of the iceberg, as many trans people are referred to via their birth name as opposed to their chosen name when reported on.
In fact just this week a trans woman, Sasha Garden, was shot dead in Florida. Police officers initially told press that she was a “man in a dress” and reported her death as such; it was only when Maia Monet, a fellow trans woman living in Orlando, began investigating that these accounts were updated.
Garden is one of several Floridian victims.
Also this week a gender non-conforming person of colour, Jessie Sumlar, was also found dead. INTO reported that nine percent of murders recorded in Jacksonville, Florida were perpetrated against victims who identified as either trans or gender non-conforming. Less than seven percent of the city’s population identify as such.
Ultimately, the unnamed woman in this clip was lucky to escape becoming another trans murder statistic; she fought for her survival, and now police are seeking more information about the assailant in order to ensure persecution.