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National Black Justice Coalition Calls for Continued Investigation Into the Murder of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears

Washington — In response to the fact that 3 weeks after Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears was killed while attending a vigil in Portland for homicide victim Tyrell Penny, her murderer remains at large, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement: 

“Our sister Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears had her life stolen at the young age of 32 and we should all be outraged and saddened that this continues to happen,” said David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). “Queer and trans people in Portland and across the country are mourning her death and calling for justice — yet her murderer still walks free three weeks later. 

“We must remain vigilant in our fight against transphobia and the emboldened violence that accompanies it. Aja is at least the 26th trans person who has been murdered this year. She should still be alive, along with the many other Black trans women who have lost their lives to the sickening bigotry that still permeates too many communities throughout the country.

“Trans people deserve safety and freedom–the safety and freedom that too many non-trans people take for granted. It’s on all of us to ensure our words and actions are aligned in ways that will ensure that one day soon trans people, specifically Black trans women can also be safe and free.” 


NBJC is asking members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies to sign a petition calling for investigation into Aja’s murder, and contact Portland detectives with any information on her case:

Detective Brad Clifton: (503)-823-0696,

Detective Michael Greenlee: (503)-823-0871,

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.