Vigil for Deoni Jones

Cross posted from Stop Street Harassment:

Deoni Jones - via DCist.com

Last Thursday at 8:13 p.m., 22-year-old Deoni Jones, was stabbed in the cheek at a Metrobus stop at East Capitol Street and Sycamore Road NE in Washington, D.C. She died from the wound.

Deplorable. What senseless violence and end to such a young person’s life.

From video footage in the area, police described the suspect as “a black male between 30 and 40 years old wearing blue jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt and black jacket. Anyone with information on the person of interest is advised to contact detectives investigating Jones’ death via the MPD tip line at (202) 727-9099 or texting to 50411.”

Via the DCist.com:

“Jones’ death brings up memories of a wave of attacks last year against members of D.C.’s transgender community. Perhaps most jarring was the killing last September of

Gaurav Gopalan, an aerospace engineer and theater director. One activist told DCist last week that 61 percent of transgender people experience some kind of violence against them, and in the case of transgender people of color, like Jones, the rate is even higher.”

Last night I joined two of my fellow Collective Action for Safe Spaces board members and about one hundred community members, family members and friends of Deoni at the bus stop for a vigil. We held lit candles and listened to prayers, memories shared of Deoni’s life, and condemnations of the senseless killing from trans-rights organizations and representatives from the mayor’s office and the police department.

Releasing balloons that represent the lives of murdered transgender individuals like Deoni Jones

Near the end of the vigil, someone let loose a bunch of colorful balloons. Each balloon represented the life of a transgender person who was murdered in DC over the last few years. People shouted out the names of their loved ones, including Deoni’s. It was a touching tribute and also sobering to see the visual showing just how many hateful murders have taken place.

The streets should be safe for everyone.

Via the DC Trans Coalition site:

“If you have been a victim of violence, or if you know someone who has, you can reach out to us at 202.681.3282 or email dctc@dctranscoalition.org. You can also call Transgender Health Empowerment at 202.636.1646 or HIPS via their 24-hour hotline at 1.800.676.HIPS. If you need police assistance, dial 911 or call the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit at 202.506.0714.”

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