In the LGBTQ community, and on social media, Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington was known as Michelle Simone. An African-American transwoman from Philadelphia, Washington was murdered, shot in her head and body in the early hours Sunday.Washington, 40, is the fifth transgender woman of color murdered in 2019, so far and, the second in a week. She was a longtime advocate for trans rights. Police have yet to say if the killing of Washington had a bias or hate motive, but authorities have a suspect in custody charged with her murder. Here’s what you need to know: 1. The Committed LGBTQ Advocate Who Studied to be a Nurse, Suffered Numerous Gunshot Wounds to Her Head & BodyIt’s reported that Washington’s body was discovered at around 5 a.m. Sunday. She had multiple gunshot wounds to her head, body and buttock, according to police. Transported to Temple University Hospital, she was pronounced dead at 5:30 a.m.Philadelphia City Council at-large candidate Deja Lynn Alvarez, who said she was a friend of Washington’s for two decades, was quoted as saying Washington was a “longtime advocate for the city’s transgender community, ” adding that “It’s time that we say this is happening to trans women, it’s happening to black trans women, it’s happening to trans women of color. …It’s time that we shift the focus to that.”
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At least five transgender people have been killed in the United States so far this year; all five of the victims were Black women shot and killed with a gun. In the last week, three transwomen have died from gun violence. #MichelleSimone https://t.co/8hplN31caE
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 21, 2019
In a human rights report, Washington was “remembered by friends and loved ones as a beloved sister and ‘gay mother.’” 2. Cops Say They Believe Robbery Was the Motive But Have Not Ruled Out a Hate CrimePolice told the Philadelphia Gay News the killing was during the commission of a robbery. In an email to the Gay News, Philadelphia Police Department Captain Sekou Kinebrew said she likely did not know the killer. But, the investigation is still active and Kinebrew said “it would be premature to rule out the possibility of a hate crime.”The Human Rights Campaign reports that Washington is the fifth transwoman of color killed this year so far.Dana Martin, 31, was killed on Jan. 6, Ashanti Carmon, 27, was killed March 30, Claire Legato, 21, on April 15, Muhlaysia Booker, 23, on May 18 and now, Washington.According to her Facebook page, she studied nursing at the Community College of Philadelphia. 3. Grief, Sorrow & Anger Are Being Channeled Into Calls to Action
Philadelphia City Council Member at Large Helen Gym tweeted out a call to action. “We are mourning Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, a black trans woman who was murdered in our city this weekend. We are not doing nearly enough to keep trans women of color safe. May we take this time to reflect, and truly honor her memory through action.”
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Thursday August 01, 2019
After two rounds of Democratic primary debates, you’d think the most urgent immigration question facing the country is whether or not the US should consider crossing the border illegally a […]
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We are mourning Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington, a black trans woman who was murdered in our city this weekend. We are not doing nearly enough to keep trans women of color safe.
May we take this time to reflect, and truly honor her memory through action.
— Helen Gym (@HelenGymAtLarge) May 21, 2019
“Hate crimes are rising in America, and trans women of color are being killed at disproportionately high rates,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted.
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Stop killing black trans women, never has the phrase “let them live” needed to be used so literally.
— Black Girl Gamers (@blackgirlgamers) May 21, 2019
“Stop killing black trans women, never has the phrase “let them live” needed to be used so literally. RIP #MichelleSimone”
White cis women: We have to remember that the fight for “women’s rights” includes the fight for Black trans women’s lives.
Muhlaysia Booker, Claire Legato, & Michelle “Tamika” Washington have all been murdered in the last month.
Posting about our uteruses isn’t enough. pic.twitter.com/uPhiesBdqt
— Jen Winston (@jenerous) May 21, 2019
“White cis women: We have to remember that the fight for ‘women’s rights”‘includes the fight for Black trans women’s lives. Muhlaysia Booker, Claire Legato, & Michelle ‘Tamika’ Washington have all been murdered in the last month. Posting about our uteruses isn’t enough.” 4. A Day Before Washington’s Murder, Transwoman Muhlaysia Booker Was Shot & Killed in Dallas. A Month Before, She Was Viciously Assaulted
Her name was Muhlaysia Booker.
Last month, she was assaulted. This weekend, she was killed. This is horrifying and heartbreaking.
She deserved better. Black trans women deserve better. Rest in power, Muhlaysia. https://t.co/DOnL6Bbp19
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) May 20, 2019
Transwoman Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on May 18. A few weeks before, she was violently assaulted by several men.
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Last week we named that TERFs (trans-exclusionary ‘feminists’) are among the anti-civil rights opponents of the #EqualityAct. That made some TERFs mad. Here’s why we’re okay with that: Black trans women are being murdered. Transphobia and anti-Blackness have no place in our movement. Ever. We must protect Black trans women. #SayHerName #MichelleSimone #DanaMartin #MuhlaysiaBooker #ClaireLegato #AshantiCarmon . #SignOfResistance by @vrye
A post shared by Women’s March (@womensmarch) on May 21, 2019 at 9:48am PDT
The attack was recorded. 5. Police Charged Troy Bailey With Washington’s Murder
BREAKING: Michelle “Tamika” Washington’s killer has been arrested and charged.
Praying for justice for this Black trans women in Philly!
Troy Bailey, 28, was arrested and charged with Murder, Violation Uniform Firearms Act-Former Convict, and more.#BlackTransLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/H4AJkF2eXL
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) May 21, 2019
A day and a half after Washington’s murder, the Philadelphia Police Department Homicide Division arrested 28-year-old Troy Bailey and charged him with murder, and illegal possession of a firearm.