Ashanti Carmon, A Black Transgender Woman, Was Fatally Shot Near Washington, DC
On Monday, ABC7 reported that Ashanti Carmon was killed near Washington, D.C., in the Prince George county of Maryland. The outlet reported that Carmon, a Black transgender woman, was fatally shot on Saturday morning, one day before Transgender Day of Visibility. The 27-year-old was from Alexandria, according to the outlet.
Fairmount Heights local law enforcement told ABC7 that they received multiple calls about gunshots in the Aspen and Josh streets on early Saturday morning. Police told ABC7 that Carmon was pronounced dead when they arrived at the scene.
According to News 4, the case is currently being investigated by the Prince George's County Police. Authorities have not declared a motive so far, the outlet reported.
Carmon's fiancé, Phillip Williams, told News 4 that he had gone out for dinner and a movie with her the night before the incident. "Until I leave this Earth, I’m going to continue on loving her in my heart, body, and soul," Williams said. "She did not deserve to leave this Earth so early, especially in the way that she went out. She did not deserve that."
On Twitter, LGBTQ activists decried the violence and called for a thorough investigation into Carmon's death. Charlotte Clymer of the Human Rights Campaign tweeted about Carmon on Sunday. "Last year, 26 transgender people were killed in the United States, most of them Black transgender women. Yesterday, Ashanti Carmon was shot and killed in D.C., the second known trans person murdered this year," she wrote. "This must be known and addressed."
The Human Rights Campaign also issued an official statement on Carmon's death, noting on Twitter that it was "deeply saddened to learn the death of Ashanti Carmon, a Black transgender woman fatally shot yesterday in Maryland."
"As we honor #TransDayOfVisibility, we must address the epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets Black trans women," the organization tweeted Sunday.
It's not the first time in 2019 that a transgender woman was killed; in January, a woman named Dana Martin was fatally shot in Alabama.
Violence toward transgender people in the United States is rampant — and the racial disparity well-documented. The Human Rights Campaign noted in 2018 that "the majority of [those killed] were Black transgender women."
LGBTQ organization GLAAD also reported in 2018 that "victims of anti-transgender violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the dangerous intersections of transphobia, racism, sexism, and criminalization which often lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness." And back in 2017, GLAAD noted that at least 14 transgender women of color had been killed that year.
On Monday, activists and transgender advocacy organizations continued to remember Carmon on Twitter, including the Transgender Law Center. "Another day of grief and heartbreak," the organization tweeted. "Sending love to Ashanti's family, friends, and to all Black trans women — always."