Ja’leyah-Jamar, a black transgender woman, was murdered on 13 September.
According to local activists, Ja’leyah-Jama – who was the parent of a five-year-old daughter – was shot to death in Kansas City.
She is the 18th trans woman of colour to be killed in the United States this year, and the second in Kansas City after Brooklyn Lindsey, who was found dead on the porch of an abandoned house in Missouri on 25 June.
Her cousin, Adriana Sanders, mourned her death on Facebook with the following post: “Ja’leyah-Jamar didn’t ask for this life… No one can control WHO they love God made us to live and love and to grow…
“It’s not our fault as a Transgender woman or a homosexual man to want to live a normal life.”
Activist Merrique Jenson also wrote: “Another Black trans woman was killed in Kansas City this weekend! Kansas City is one of the epicenters of violence towards trans women of color, particularly Black trans women, in this country!
“I encourage agencies with social, political and financial power to do something about this.”
Ja’leyah-Jamar is the 19th known transgender casualty this year in the US, after Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears, Brooklyn Lindsey, Denali Berries Stuckey, Jordan Cofer, Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, Tracy Single, Bailey Reeves and Bee Love Slater.
Transgender women, in particular, face extraordinarily high levels of violence. Last year, 26 trans individuals were killed in the United States – a majority of which were black and Latina – and 25 of those were women.