The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) Mourns the Loss of Remy Fennell
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NORTH CAROLINA — The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) grieves the loss of Remy Fennell, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman, who was shot and killed in a hotel room in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 15th, 2021. Remy was a hairstylist who was described as being very talented and dreamed of opening her own hair salon one day. Family and friends remember her as bold, outspoken, loveable, and having a beautiful soul.
Remy is the second Black trans woman to be killed in Charlotte in the last two weeks after Jaida Peterson, who was also shot to death in a hotel room on April 4th. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have suggested that the two deaths might be related and have arrested two suspects. Local LGBTQ+ activists and organizations have expressed justifiable concern with the possibility that trans women are being targeted.
“Jaida Peterson and Remy Fennell were human beings first and foremost. We cannot and should not blame either of them for these discriminatory and violent murders simply because they were trans women engaged in sex work,” said David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “People do not deserve to die simply as a result of who they are, what they do, or how they show up in the world. Full stop. Our hope is that North Carolina police are as concerned with catching the person or people responsible for these gruesome anti-trans acts of violence as they are about warning the LGBTQ+ community members and allies in Charlotte to stay ‘vigilant.”
“For too long, the epidemic of violence against trans and nonbinary people has been swept under the rug. We must do more to protect this community, and seek justice for those whose lives were taken too soon. We need tangible action and change from the local, state, and federal levels of government in order to stop this violence, oppression and marginalization of trans and nonbinary individuals,” concluded Johns.
Remy is the 16th transgender person and 11th Black trans woman to be killed in 2021. She is the third transgender woman to be killed in North Carolina this year.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is currently investigating the death of Remy Fennell and asks anyone with information to call the anonymous Crime Stopper line at 704-334-1600. The department is also asking members of the LGBTQ+ community who engage in sex work to exercise extreme caution and report anything suspicious immediately by contacting 911.
To learn more about changing your local laws to increase protections for trans and non-binary community members, look here.
The NBJC Stolen Lives list of trans and non-binary siblings lost to violence and hate can be found here.