Kansas City police are investigating the fatal shooting of a transgender woman killed last week who was initially misgendered and “dead-named.”
Police responded to the scene of a reported shooting at Leavenworth Road and 60th Street last Friday and found Ja’leyah-Jamar, a transgender woman in her 20s, suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to a hospital and died from her injuries.
Initially, Ja’leyah-Jamar was misgendered by police, who referred to her as a male and used her previous name. But her family and community members later confirmed she was a transgender woman on social media.
According to local news outlet KSHB, police are searching for a person of interest who is believed to have been in a relationship with Ja’leyah-Jamar.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call the police department’s TIPS hotline anonymously at 816-474-8477.
The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project issued a statement, saying: “As we hold space to remember and uplift Ja’leyah, we must also recognize the factors at play that contribute to the dramatically increased risk of violence that trans women of color — especially Black trans women — face every day.
“Restrictions on basic needs and services like housing, employment, safe streets, healthcare, and protection under the law are just some barriers that put our sisters in harm’s way daily,” KCAVP continued. “The discriminatory and violent systems that perpetuate violence against transgender women of color are a direct result of bias from within and outside our own communities. Ja’leyah’s light shone to a select few, but we will let her light shine on all of us today.”
Ja’leyah-Jamar is one of 20 transgender people killed violently in the United States this year. Recently, a missing homeless transgender woman known as “Bubba” Walker was identified as the body found inside an abandoned home that was set on fire in July.
Earlier this month, the body of trans woman Bee Love Slater was found inside her car, which had been set on fire, in rural Southwest Florida.
Just days prior to that, 17-year-old transgender teen Bailey Reeves was killed in Baltimore.