Transgender Woman Was Found Shot Dead In An Augusta Park

Transgender Woman Was Found Shot Dead In An Augusta Park

Officials in eastern Georgia are looking for a suspect after a black transgender woman was found murdered in Augusta Park on Saturday. According to the human rights movement, 33-year-old Felycya Harris is the 31st transgender or gender non-conforming person to be the target of lethal violence in 2020, which is also the deadliest year for the trans-community since the advocacy organisation started monitoring the killings in 2013.

HRC says that transgender people are at an increased risk of fatal abuse , particularly transgender women of colour due to the "toxic combination of transphobia, racism and misogyny." "With the news of the death of Felycya Harris, we have reached a grim milestone: we have now reached the maximum number of transgender or gender non-conforming people who have been victims of lethal violence in one year — and there are three more months left in the year," HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. "This epidemic of abuse, which is especially affecting transgender women of colour, must and can be stopped."

According to the Richmond County Sheriff's office, the deputies responded Saturday afternoon to the Augusta Meadowbrook Park post by an unresponsive individual. They found Harris suffering from a gunshot wound, and later she was pronounced dead. The death was ruled a homicide by a medical examiner, says CBS affiliate WRDW.

To date, no suspects have been identified in Harris' death, and the motive remains unknown. It's not clear whether, or for any other reason, she was targeted because of her gender identity. While this year Georgia passed landmark legislation on hate crime, eliminating it from a list of four states without legislation that expand punishments for those targeting victims because of protected features such as ethnicity or religion, gender identity is not included in the current law of Georgia.

In 2017, there were the most violent deaths recorded in the transgender community, with 25 people killed. The Human Rights Campaign said that other deaths may have gone unreported. Those reported may be difficult to track because law enforcement and the media sometimes misidentify and misidentify victims by referring to them with their names given at birth, advocates say.