Violence against trans women in D.C. is continuing to gain widespread media attention. For example, NPR currently has a national story featuring interviews with DCTC members and allies: Violent Attacks on Transgender People Raise Alarm. It’s unfortunately worth mentioning that there have been even more violent incidents targeting trans women that are not recorded in this article.
We were recently notified by MPD that a trans woman was stabbed in the abdomen on Sept. 26th by two male suspects. The suspects also verbally assaulted the survivor and her friends with homophobic/transphobic language before the attack. The incident occurred on the 700 block of North Capitol Street. Thankfully, the victim’s injuries were non-life threatening and responding police officers were able to arrest both suspects. They are being charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon – Bias Related.
Today, Darryl Willard Jr., who shot a trans woman in the neck on Sept. 12 on Savannah Street SE, accepted the plea bargain to one count of Aggravated Assault While Armed, which carries a 5 year mandatory minimum and a maximum of 30 or 40 years. It is not being prosecuted as a hate crime. Willard was previously charged with Assault With Intent to Kill While Armed. A sentencing hearing was set for December 6, 2011 at 9:30AM. DCTC will have an opportunity to submit a Community Impact Statement. In the meantime, we continue to ensure that the survivor’s identity is respected by the court.
Last Sunday, about 200 showed up at Dupont Circle for a vigil commemorating Gigi Gopalan, who was murdered in Columbia Heights on Sept. 10th.