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Angel Unique’s Shooting Death is a Tragic Reminder of Continued Violence Against the Trans Community

November 6, 2020

Gun violence against the trans community has continued into the fall, after a number of deadly shootings over the summer. Most recently, Angel Unique, a Black trans woman, was shot and killed in what loved ones say was a hate-motivated killing in Memphis, Tennessee.

Angel is at least the 29th trans person and at least the 18th Black trans woman shot and killed nationwide this year, according to Everytown research accessible through EveryStat. Her death is part of a tragic pattern of violence against the trans community in the United States:  

  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Of the 80 homicides of trans or gender nonconforming people in America between 2017 and 2019, three-fourths of the victims were killed with a gun. 
  • Black trans women account for the majority of deaths in the trans community. 79% of known trans homicide victims were Black, despite Black people making up just 16% of the trans population.
  • These deaths are concentrated in southern states. Between 2017 and 2019, 64% of trans shootings occurred in the South, compared to 20% in the Midwest, 11% in the Northeast, and 5% in the West. This year’s deaths so far follow the same pattern. Florida and Texas have seen the greatest number of trans homicide victims since 2017, including the recent shooting deaths of Bree “Nuk” Black in Florida and Merci Mack in Texas.

Hate crimes motivated by bias against LGBTQ people make up one in five hate crimes. Read more about the state and federal policy solutions that can prevent this violence here. Download Everytown’s data on transgender homicides here.

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