Tiffany Edwards, 28, had been shot to death, according to news reports, which said her body was discovered about 8 a.m. Thursday by a city sanitation driver.
Local news reports identified her as DeAndre Edwards and didn’t mention her gender identity, but BRAVO — the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization — said Edwards identified as Tiff or Tiffany.
BRAVO also said it believes the murder was hate-motivated and that Edwards was targeted based on perception of her gender identity and expression.
“BRAVO is saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be targeted,” Executive Director Gloria McCauley said in a statement.
Aaron Eckhardt, BRAVO training and technical assistance director said it’s the fourth killing nationwide this month of a transgender woman of color. A 2013 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found that transgender people were the victims in half the hate-crime killings of LGBT people, and people of color are the victims in 75 percent of the killings.
Edwards’ death is the fourth murder of a transgender woman in Ohio in the past 18 months, and the third murder of a young transgender woman of color:
- Cemia “CeCe” Dove, 20, was killed in January 2013 and her body was found three months later in a pond outside Cleveland. Andrey Bridges, 36, was convicted in November and sentenced to life in prison.
- Betty Skinner, 52, was found dead in her Cleveland apartment in December by a home health worker.
“The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It’s happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter,” Shane Morgan, said founder and chair of TransOhio.
McCauley said the latest killing underscores the need for discussion and action on hate crimes against LGBT people. Ohio’s hate-crimes law does not cover crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.