Black transgender woman Dede Ricks, 33, was shot to death last Saturday in Detroit.
Ricks was the second Black trans woman to die by violence in the city in about a month. Hayden Davis, 28, was fatally shot in late July.
Ricks, an Ohio resident, was found dead at a home in Detroit early Saturday morning, The Detroit News reports. Deontae Close, 31, was arrested that day and arraigned Tuesday on a charge of second-degree murder.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the deaths of Ricks and Davis do not appear to be related, but the fact of them occurring so close together is “beyond concerning.”
“We have seen this happen before and hope that this does not become a pattern,” Worthy said in a statement. “While some protections for transgender citizens in Michigan are finally beginning to be recognized, their lives are still very much in danger.”
Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire also released a statement on the situation. “The fact that we have seen two homicides of transgender women in just three weeks shows the danger this community faces,” Maguire said. “Rather than being supported, we often hear people vilify the transgender community which fuels this kind of violence and hate. We are proud to work with Prosecutor Worthy’s office on these cases, and we hope to bring justice to the victims and their families.”
No arrest has been made in Davis’s case. Worthy and representatives of Fair Michigan’s Justice Project held a press conference Wednesday to call attention to the matter. They asked that anyone with information about the crime call Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP or the Justice Project at (877) 432-4764. The Justice Project is a partnership between Fair Michigan and several county prosecutors’ offices.
Ricks is at least the 27th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming American known to have died by violence this year, after 2021 saw a record 57 such deaths reported. The total for any year is likely higher, given that many victims are deadnamed and misgendered by police or media, or their deaths not reported at all.