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California Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Black Transgender Woman in Oakland, California

December 7, 2021

OAKLAND, Calif. – The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements after Nikai David, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Oakland, California on December 4. 

“Nikai’s life was priceless – her loved ones described her as someone who went out of her way to help others,” said Rudy Espinoza, a Bay Area LGBTQ+ Activist and Moms Demand Action Lead. “We must protect Black transgender women who face the threat of violence just for existing. For women like Nikai, we need to continue advocating for laws that prevent hate crimes including hate-fueled gun violence and we must elect leaders that are committed to making their districts safer for the trans community.”

Nikai is at least the 51st transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed in 2021 in the United States and Puerto Rico just less than a month after Danyale Thompson, a 35-year old Black trans woman was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, and it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered.

2020 was previously the deadliest year on record for trans and gender-nonconforming people in the U.S., but 2021 has now reached the same number of people killed with one month remaining in this year. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are on track to continue in 2021:

  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun.
  • Black trans women account for the majority of homicide victims in the trans community. To put this into perspective, while Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 75% of known trans homicide victims between 2017 and 2020 were Black.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-comforming people in the U.S. since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county-level, the platform includes a database of known trans or gender-nonconforming homicide victims in the United States.

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