D.C. police investigate shootings of transgender individuals

Just two weeks after Lashai Mclean was shot and killed in Northeast D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is investigating another shooting targeting a transgender woman in the same area. In a statement, the MPD said:

Due to the similarities of the victims’ sexual self-identification, M.O., locations, and lookout for suspects, the cases are being investigated as a potential emerging pattern.

The MPD said it will work to enhance patrolling in the area with the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit and Transgender Health Empowerment. Read more here. We urge authorities to vigorously investigate these crimes, and are pleased to see the MPD working with LGBT services in an effort to end this violence.

Transgender and gender non-conforming people live every day with an exceptionally high risk of violence. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey reports that transgender individuals experience physical and verbal harassment at a rate of up to 55 percent in homeless shelters. It’s the place many transgender people are forced to go because they face nearly twice the rate of the general population for homelessness, many are forced to remain despite the violence. These already unparalleled numbers rise even higher for people of color as well as for those living in poverty, which transgender and gender non-conforming individuals face at a rate of nearly four times the general population.