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The National Black Justice Coalition Mourns the Deaths of Dede Ricks and Hayden Davis, Black Transgender Women Killed in Detroit

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

Leading Black LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Group Says Second Violent Murder of Black Trans Women in Detroit within a Month is Deeply Concerning

DETROIT, MICHIGAN — The National Black Justice Coalition, a leading Black LGBTQ+ and same-gender loving civil rights organization, mourns the death of Dede Ricks, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman. Ricks was shot to death in Detroit on August 27, 2022.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced that a suspect had been arrested concerning Ricks’ death and was charged with second-degree murder and a felony firearm position. Police have not determined a motive for the murder, including whether it was a hate crime. 

Ricks is the 27th transgender person that we know of to die by violence this year and the second violent murder of a Black trans woman in Detroit in a month. According to Them, “Detroit police are still investigating the killing of Hayden Davis, who was shot multiple times while attempting to flee an unknown assailant who pursued her from a car.” 

“Black transgender women are under attack in Detroit – and the tragic killings of our sisters, Dede Ricks and Hayden Davis, in the span of a month – are proof of the danger this community faces,” explained Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “We must do more to protect Black transgender people!” 

A few weeks ago, NBJC convened a group of LGBTQ+ people from the midwest to meet with the United Nations Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity while he was touring the U.S. to write a report on discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community in the U.S. on behalf of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. The leading issue in the meeting was the despicable number of Black transgender women murdered in the midwest without accountability or proper investigations. 

“As we recently shared with the United Nations Human Rights Commission, more must be done to keep transgender women safe in our communities and to hold those who murder them accountable. Otherwise, our cities are sending a message that their lives don’t matter – a message far from the truth,” Kirby York concluded.

Learn more about reducing gender-based violence here and here

Look here to learn more about changing local laws and increasing protections for trans and non-binary community members. 

The NBJC Stolen Lives list of trans and non-binary individuals lost to violence and hate can be found here.

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.