Man charged with murder after Black trans woman Starr Brown killed in Tennessee

A selfie of the trans woman Starr Brown.

A man has been charged with murder after a Black transgender woman, Starr Brown, was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee.

Starr Brown was reportedly found dead on 19 April in North Rolling Woods Drive, near Scenic Hills Elementary School. A medical examiner ruled her death as a homicide.

Police found the body with a gunshot wound after responding to a call at 9.30am local time.

According to local news outlet Fox13 Memphis News, which misgendered Brown and used her birth name, she was last seen with Cordova restaurant co-worker Alexavier Williamson, who has been charged with second-degree murder.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said Starr is at least the 11th trans person, and second Black transgender person, killed in the US this year. She was at least the fourth killed in April alone.

“In an injustice compounding this tragedy, Starr was misgendered in some media and police reports, an occurrence that is far too common,” the advocacy group added.

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“In the [past] 11 years that HRC has been tracking fatal violence against the transgender and gender-expansive community, approximately two-thirds of all known victims were misgendered by the media and/or by law enforcement.”

Friends and loved ones described Starr as a “beautiful soul” who “always had uplifting words.”

An obituary, which lists both her names, notes that a funeral service was held on 4 May. Several messages on the guestbook said she was “one of the sweetest.”

Jasmine Tasaki, the executive director of Tennessee not-for-profit group WeCareTN said: “Our community continues to suffer, yet we find ways to go on. It is with deep hurt that I say Starr Brown’s name. It is our duty to push harder for liberation for our people, we can only save ourselves.”