A Black transgender woman from Mississippi was shot to death late last month, police said.
Dominique Jackson, 30, sustained a gunshot wound to the neck on January 25 at Rose Street and Grand Avenue, the Jackson Police Department told Gay City News. Jackson was driving her vehicle that evening and hit a utility pole, according to the local ABC affiliate in Jackson. It is unclear who shot the victim and when she was shot. After the shooting, Jackson exited her vehicle and was found lying dead in a field, authorities said.
Jackson Police Department spokesperson Sam Brown told Gay City News the police had not determined her cause of death nor a motive for the incident. Police said there is no evidence suggesting that Jackson was targeted because she was transgender.
“We don’t have any evidence or information that would suggest it would have been a hate crime,” Brown said.
In a phone call with Gay City News, Brown repeatedly misgendered Jackson. When Gay City News told authorities that Jackson was a transgender woman, Brown said the department uses the gender marker and name reflected on the victim’s ID.
“That’s what determines the information that we give,” Brown said. “Whatever is on that person’s legal document as a name, which was [legal name]. That’s the name we have legally, so that’s what we use.”
Police are still investigating the incident and have not found any suspects in connection to the case. Like many transgender victims, Jackson was misgendered by police and in local media reports, which may have delayed advocates and family members from correctly identifying the victim. Days after the victim’s death, one of her relatives urged the public to help find her.
“Dominique Jackson is missing,” Madison King, one of the victim’s loved ones, wrote in a social media post on January 27. “We haven’t seen or talked to her in 3 days. She dropped a dude off, and she hasn’t been home since.”
On social media, advocates described Jackson as an organizer and co-founder at BreakOut, an LGBTQ youth organization, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Additionally, according to her Facebook profile, the late advocate was the Mother of the Hause of Redd and the founder of The Ladi Redd Inc.
After a record-high 44 known transgender Americans were killed last year, the deadly violence against transgender or gender-non-conforming people is continuing into this year. Davarea “Tyianna” Alexander was shot and killed in Chicago on January 6, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín died after getting shot in Puerto Rico on January 9, and Natasha Keianna was found dead in an SUV in Detroit on January 12.
In a written statement, Tori Cooper, HRC’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, underscored Jackson’s role in the community and denounced the ongoing violence.
“Dominique was an important and valued member of her community, where she will be greatly missed,” Cooper said. “In just one month, we have already recorded multiple deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. This is unacceptable. We need everyone in the LGBTQ community and our allies to speak out against this violence and take action to stop it. We will continue fighting for justice for all trans and gender non-conforming people.”
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