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Friends say murder of transgender woman in Oakland was a hate crime

Monday, April 30, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — A transgender woman was shot to death in downtown Oakland, Calif., over the weekend, and friends believe her killing was a hate crime.

According to a witness, Brandy Martell, 37, was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 a.m. Sunday when one or two men walked up and began a conversation, reported KGO-TV.

The witness told KGO-TV the conversation was cordial, but then a few minutes later, one of the men became angry and fired into the car where Martell was sitting.

Watch a report from KGO-TV:

Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at a health center in Fremont, Calif., which serves the transgender and transsexual community.

Community organizations have said they believe the shooting was motivated by hate. According to Oakland Occupy Patriarchy, a branch of Occupy Oakland, Brandy was shot by a man who had “become enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans,” reported the SF Weekly.

“When you don’t provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don’t provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it’s socializing or services, this is what happens,” said Tiffany Woods, a friend of Martell’s.

Police are still investigating the murder and said it could be considered a hate crime if they find out that the assailant was motivated by Martell’s actual or perceived gender identity.

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15 more reader comments:

  1. :(

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:03pm
  2. Just because we the people who live in this USA, no one has the right to take the life of another just because of difference. come on people let’s get it together now live and let live. The time is now!

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:06pm
  3. May she rest in peace.

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:08pm
  4. :/ So sad.

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:09pm
  5. god that’s tragic.

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:09pm
  6. :( it is tragic, because of difference someone murders another.

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:11pm
  7. condolences to the family and husband i’m truly sorry for the hate thats out there that we go through everydaynow we need justice for this woman praying for ya’ll LOVE AND HUGS

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:17pm
  8. We got to take our power back, one asskicking at a time

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:20pm
  9. So many things to hate, like…cruelty to Animals, destruction of Environment, lack of funds, BUT NOT PPL! GROW UP!

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:24pm
  10. :( sad

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:31pm
  11. :o(

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:35pm
  12. The world will miss such a beautiful person.

    Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 10:36pm
  13. IT’S TIME THE WORLD WAKES UP. ALL TRANS PEOPLE ARE SOMEONES CHILD , FRIEND , SPOUSE. THEY ARE JUST…PEOPLE!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 2:11am
  14. Why do they have to have such hatred for people who are not like them?? This world makes no sense. People kill one another over the stupidest of things anymore.. wow..

    Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 5:38am
  15. So sad!

    Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 10:21am