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Wisconsin Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Brazil Johnson, a 28-year-old Black Transgender Woman, in Milwaukee

June 29, 2022

The Wisconsin chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the death of Brazil Johnson, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman, who was shot and killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin earlier this month.

“Brazil dedicated her life to protecting LGBTQ+ people and communities across Wisconsin, and yet, we failed to protect her,” said Melissa Carr, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action. “To honor Brazil’s life and legacy, we must act to address our country’s gun violence epidemic and its disproportionate effects on transgender and gender non-conforming people. Our legislators must pass stronger gun laws to protect the transgender and gender non-conforming lives in our state.” 

Brazil’s death is at least the 17th fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered

2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S, and transgender women of color were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2021 that researchers fear will continue in 2022: 

  • There was an 93% increase in incidents of tracked transgender homicides from 2017 to 2021 (from 29 incidents in 2017 to 56 incidents in 2021). 
  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun. This violence is not evenly spread throughout the US. 
  • Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are victims of homicide at the highest rates. 73% of gun homicides of transgender and gender-nonconforming people were of Black trans Women.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming 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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