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The National Black Justice Coalition Mourns the Death of Natasha Keianna


Contact: Anna Zuccaro |

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) mourns the loss of Natasha Keianna. 

Natasha Keianna, a 37-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in her car on January 12th, 2021 about 2 miles from her home in Detroit, Michigan. Natasha was reported missing by her family on January 6th and last seen on December 26th, 2020. An autopsy has been requested by the family, despite police claims that there are no signs of trauma or foul play.

Natasha was in good mental and physical condition when her family last saw her. The motel that Natasha was seen leaving before she disappeared said that before she left, she made a payment and left all of her belongings in her room. 

A friend of Natasha’s, Bridget Butts, remembers Natasha as, “a sweet girl … who didn’t get into much trouble.” Butts says in Pride Source. “I will remember the way that she dressed. You knew her by the way that she dressed. She always had a nice heel on. She liked tall heels. But she didn’t try to flaunt it.”

“It is distressing that Natasha Keianna’s family has had to order an autopsy to be sure of the cause of death in her case,” said Dr. Kia Darling-Hammond, director of education programs and research at the National Black Justice Coalition. “If the report proves foul play, Natasha will be one of four trans persons whose lives have been stolen in the just six short weeks of 2021. If not, Natasha’s death is still a reminder that our trans siblings are still living under disproportionately precarious conditions. In every case, we must urgently respond to protect trans and nonbinary community members.” 

At this time last year, the NBJC knew of one violent death in the transgender and nonbinary community, compared to the four deaths so far in 2021. According to NBJC’s Stolen Lives List, 2020 was the deadliest year on record for violent deaths in the transgender community, though some were undiscovered until 2021. 

“The pace of violence in 2021 is dramatically outstripping 2020. It is urgent that people take action,” added Dr. Darling-Hammond.

Learn more about how to reduce gender based violence here and here

Learn more about advocating for local policy changes here

View the NBJC Stolen Lives list of trans and nonbinary siblings lost to violence 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.