Another week and another murder of a Black transgender woman. The latest happened Monday night in Oakland when 37-year-old Brandy Martell was gunned down only one block from city hall, reports San Francisco's ABC 7.
Martell 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. A witness told ABC7 the conversation was cordial, but then a few minutes later, one of the men became angry and fired into the car right where Martell was sitting.
Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at the Tri-City Health Center in Fremont which serves the transgender and transsexual community. "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," Martell's friend Tiffany Woods told ABC7.
Martell becomes at least the fourth Black woman killed nationwide in April. Twenty-three-year-old Paige Clay was killed around April 16th in Chicago. There have been no arrests or suspects. Detroit police are also searching for the killer(s) of 35-year-old Coko Williams, who was found slain earlier last month.
Numerous studies have shown that Black and Latina trans women are at the greatest risk of violence and the murders of Black transgender women are often unsolved. Black trans women face "extreme discrimination and poverty", and are more than likely to suffer from violence, physical or sexual abuse, police brutality, HIV/AIDS and bullying, according to a first of its kind survey conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Black Justice Coalition.
Watch ABC 7's report AFTER THE JUMP ...