And another one …
Zella Ziona, just twenty-one-years old, was shot multiple times in the head in an alley in Gaithersburg, Maryland last week; another transgender woman murdered in America.
Witnesses say a group of four or five teenagers surrounded Zion and an argument ensued, during which one of the teenagers pulled a gun because, again, America, we love guns, and shot Ziona in the head; she was pronounced dead at the hospital a few hours later.
Authorities have one suspect under arrest; Rico Hector Leblond, twenty, of Germantown, has been charged in connection with the murder.
And this time, unlike other cases of transwomen being surrounded by gangs of men and murdered in the streets of this country, Montgomery county police captain, Paul Starks, says the attack was not “random,” which may mean that they will investigate this as a Hate Crime. Maryland is one of just 16 states with hate-crime legislation that protects residents on the basis of their actual or perceived gender identity.
For the record, Zella Ziona is the 22nd transgender, or gender non-conforming, person to have been murdered in this country this year, making this year even deadlier of our LGBTQ brothers and especially our sisters. Add to that the fact that trans women of color — like Zella Ziona — are far more likely to be beaten and attacked and murdered than other trans women, and we kind of have an epidemic on our hands.
Say her name, Zella Ziona, and don’t let this story go untold. This has to stop … these crimes have to be investigated and charged and tried as Hate Crimes.