Sacramento Vigil Focuses on Justice, Peace Following Transgender Women’s Shooting Deaths

SACRAMENTO -- People gathered at a vigil Monday night in midtown Sacramento to make one clear statement -- violence against transgender women must end.

In light of fresh tragedies from around the country, black transgender women seem most under attack.

"Trans black women are women, period, and I think that's a conversation that needs to be had inside the black community and outside the black community," said Elika Bernard with Black Women United. "Because as soon as we start breaking apart people's identities, then we allow the injustices to start happening."

Muhlaysia Booker's body was found face down on Valley Glen Drive in Dallas, Texas. Just last month, a video of her being severely beaten by four men went viral.

Now investigators say she's been killed by "homicidal violence."

Remembrance of her happened underneath a mural painted in honor of Chyna Gibson, a black, transgender woman and performer from Sacramento who was killed in New Orleans in 2017.

Advocates say societal attitudes have to move beyond tolerance.

"We need to bring some justice to this hate," said Stockton resident Jessica Smith.

Smith's resolve wasn't bruised even though her eye still was Monday from what she says was a hate crime by some high schoolers who were harassing her on a Stockton city bus.

"The bus driver shut the doors and they pushed me against the bus and started beating on me," she said.

She says all of it happened last week on her birthday.

Smith and others said they can't wait for justice any longer. They're disturbed that what happened to Booker in Texas is not yet being called a hate crime.

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