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National Black Justice Coalition Mourns Loss of Aerrion Burnett


WASHINGTON, DCThe National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) mourns the loss of Aerrion Burnett, a 37-year-old Black trans woman from Independence, Missouri. Burnett was found dead of a gunshot wound on September 19, 2020. 

Her friends said that she was a goddess and the life of the party. Her friend Korea Kelly is on the record having said, “if you wanted to have a good day, you need to smile, Aerrion was the person you wanted by your side.” Her family is demanding justice. In the words of Burnett’s cousin, enough is enough; it's time to “stop taking our lives.”

“I am thankful to know the power of the love that Black trans people, Black trans women, in particular possess,” said David Johns, Executive Director of NBJC. “Black trans women are powerful beyond measure and have the capacity to hold space for and to ensure that those they love feel affirmed and safe. 

“It’s for these reasons that I find the continued news of Black trans women, and Black femme identified members of our community, being murdered at an extreme rate to be beyond comprehension and deserving of our collective effort to bring about a dramatic and immediate end to this unique form of Black pain. Black trans people, Black trans women in particular deserve our protection—they deserve to live without fear of being discriminated against or murdered. Until this is their reality, ensuring that they are safe is on all of us.”

The Independence Police Department is currently investigating Burnett’s death as a homicide. They ask anyone with information about the case to contact the Tips Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.  You can call the Independence Police Department to demand a complete, fair, and public investigation by calling 816-325-7777 or emailing

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.