National Black Justice Coalition Mourns the Loss of Three Black Trans People
WASHINGTON — In response to recent news that Isabella Mia Lofton and Elie Che were found dead in NYC and the death of KaKedius “Rebel” Ried the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of three young Black trans people,” said David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). “Isabella Mia Lofton, a Black transgender woman, was found dead in Brooklyn, New York on September 7, 2020, from a fall off the roof of a building. The family said that “Isabella was a bright spark in this world and will be deeply missed.” Elie Che, a 23-year-old Black trans femme, was found dead in Bronx, New York on Orchard Beach on August 31, 2020, with her death being ruled an accidental drowning. London Trans+ Pride said that Elie “was a poet, a dancer, a friend and an inspiration to many”. KaKedius “Rebel” Reid, a Black trans man, passed away of a drug overdose on August 29, 2020. His family said, “he had a lot of personal demons he was fighting.”
“Nearly 30 trans people have been murdered this year that we know of, and Isabella is yet another example of a Black trans woman’s life being cut short due to violence. Black trans women face a disproportionate share of bias, discrimination, and violence compared to non-Black trans women and cis women. There is growing evidence of this fact and still not enough public discussion or action to address it.
“In addition to the violence that Black trans women and femme identified members of our community experience directly, the absence of public discussion and lack of justice can introduce additional forms of trauma that negatively impact Black trans women and girls.
“Trans, femme, and non-binary members of our community face additional challenges that can sometimes lead to misusing substances, which can lead to addiction. Barriers to support and care can make it especially difficult for Black trans, non-binary, and queer people to get help, including medical/health care, when we may need it most.
“Anyone committed to ensuring that Black Lives Matter should be committed to protecting Black trans women and girls, femme identified members of our community, and non-binary Black people. As we work to hold communities and our country accountable for being anti-racist, there must also be investments in fighting transphobia so that trans people can live freely and safely, as cisgender people so often get to do.”
Isabella’s death is currently being investigated to determine if it was a hate crime. NBJC urges people to consider calling the Brooklyn Police Department at 216-749-1234 to ensure that the investigation is fair and complete so that Isabella gets justice.
Isabella’s family is currently hosting a Gofundme to bring Isabella from New York back to Chicago, where she was born and raised, for a memorial service: https://www.gofundme.com/f/24qg1jv2o0.
KeKedius Reid’s family is also hosting a Gofundme to help lay KeKeidus to rest:
SAMHSA is a national database where people can find local professionals and agencies providing addiction recovery services:
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