National Black Justice Coalition Mourns Passing of Felycya Harris, Calls for Investigation into Stabbing of Daniela Hernandez
WASHINGTON, DC—The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) mourns the loss of Felycya Harris and the stabbing of Daniela Hernandez, who survived.
Felycya Harris, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman was found dead from a gunshot wound in Meadowbrook Park in Augusta, Georgia on Saturday, October 3. Her death is being investigated as a homicide. Harris was an interior decorating entrepreneur. She enjoyed making others feel comfortable in their own space. Friends and family mourn her life and legacy. Felycya’s friend Ricola Collier said “everybody’s going to remember Felycya. That laugh. The smiles. The talks. The arguments. That attitude… Nobody would ever forget who that is.”
Daniela Hernandez, a 42-year-old transgender woman was stabbed 16 times and subjected to hate speech while she walked in MacArthur Park, in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, October 4. She survived the attack and is currently recovering in the hospital. Police are searching for four suspects, three men and one woman, believed to have carried out the attack. Bamby Salcedo, president of the TransLatin@ Coalition, where Daniela volunteers, said Daniela leads with passion and love and that “she is a very kind individual who is always doing good for people.”
Harris is the fourth trans or gender nonconforming person to be murdered in the last three weeks. A record 35 trans people, mostly Black trans women, have been murdered this year, just ten months in, exceeding rates in 2017, which had previously seen the highest number of violent deaths of trans or gender nonconforming people in one year. The timing of Felycya’s murder and Daniela’s attack highlight the epidemic of violence that too many members of the trans community face — a problem that appears to be accelerating.
The violence that Black trans women and femmes experience at the intersection of anti-Blackness, misogyny, and transphobia is a public health issue – a sign of a society that needs to heal. We need urgent action pushing for both legislative and community-based protections for our Black trans, femme, and gender nonconforming siblings. Each of us has a role to play in interrupting hate – through our votes, our daily behavior, and our refusal of a logic that suggests any Black lives are disposable. To get involved in solutions, visit http://new.nbjc.org/words-matter-gender-justice-toolkit.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating Felycya Harris’ death. Anyone with information is asked to call 706-821-1020.
If you would like to send a card or a message of well wishes to Daniela Hernandez you can send it to the TransLatin@ Coalition, 3055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 350, Los Angeles CA 90010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Letter for Daniela”. To ensure Daniela gets a fair investigation call the Los Angeles Police Department at 1-877-275-5273.