Black trans woman Ashley Burton shot dead in Atlanta – she was 37

A pictre of Ashley Burton, the trans woman who was murdered.

A 37-year-old Black trans woman has been shot dead at an apartment complex in Atlanta, Georgia.

Police found Ashley Burton’s body on the second floor of the building on 11 April. Officers told local reporters that she had died from an apparent gunshot wound in the middle of the night, in what is thought to be a domestic-related shooting.

The police believe the killer may have stolen her phone after the shooting.

CCTV footage from near the area has suggested that she may have been shot inside the apartment and collapsed outside shortly after.

A homicide unit has said investigations are ongoing, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.

The trans hairstylist was described as selfless and gentle by her cousin Ivory Carter, who told local news station 11 Alive that Burton had moved to Atlanta recently to continue her career and develop her skills as a makeup artist.

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“She was a sweetheart. She wasn’t nasty, she wasn’t disrespectful, she just wanted to live her life,” Carter said. “She was very full of life. It was always smiles and laughs with us. 

“I just want justice for my cousin,” she continued. “I’m tired of these incidents with transgender women being pushed under the rug. We are human beings.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), of all the trans men and women killed in 2022, 85 per cent were people of colour.

In a report entitled An Epidemic of Violence 2022, the HRC found that 69 per cent of victims of trans killings reported in the US were Black, while 85 per cent of victims identified as trans women.

Historically, the majority of hate crimes towards trans people usually occur against trans people of colour, with reports from 2021 suggesting a similar trend.

This year is turning out to be no different: four of the eight reported murders the HRC has tracked involve Black trans women, not including Burton.

Few of these cases are resolved, with 61 investigations out of the 175 trans deaths in the US in the past five years remaining unsolved.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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