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Black transgender woman, 22, shot dead in Dallas

Merci Mack, 22, was found unconscious by a passerby in a parking lot, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head

Merci Mack, 22, was found unconscious by a passerby in a parking lot, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head

A black transgender woman was fatally shot in Dallas on Tuesday – the 19th trans murder victim this year.

Merci Mack, 22, was found unconscious by a passerby in a parking lot, with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. 

She was identified by friends and local trans advocates after initially being dead-named by Dallas authorities. Dead-naming is when authorities or a person’s family choose to use a person’s birth name instead of their preferred name, often times misgendering them in the process.

In a statement to NBC, the Dallas Police Department shared that it had been ‘unable to confirm an alternate name for the victim.’  

‘Our detectives, as with all murders, are working diligently to find the perpetrator to this horrible crime,’ Sgt. Warren C. Mitchell said. ‘We continue to ask the community for their assistance.’

There are currently no witnesses in the killing and police are asking for the public’s assistance. 

She was identified by friends and local trans advocates after initially being dead-named by Dallas authorities

She was identified by friends and local trans advocates after initially being dead-named by Dallas authorities

Residents did report hearing gunshots at approximately 5.00am on Tuesday morning but did not call 911. The passerby called authorities at around 6.15am. 

She is the fourth transgender woman killed during Pride, Out.com reports.  

‘Another black transgender woman has had her life stolen from her,’ Tori Cooper, HRC director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement. 

‘We cannot become numb to the fact that our community has learned of more killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past few weeks than HRC has ever tracked in the past seven years. Her friends say that Merci Mack was a young, upbeat soul who deserved to experience a full life. HRC is mourning with Merci’s loved ones and are calling for a full, thorough investigation into her death.’

Residents did report hearing gunshots at approximately 5am on Tuesday morning but did not call 911, with a passerby eventually alerting authorities around 6.15am

Residents did report hearing gunshots at approximately 5am on Tuesday morning but did not call 911, with a passerby eventually alerting authorities around 6.15am

Violence against trans folk has been devastating in the state of Texas where at least 14 trans and gender-nonconforming people were fatally murdered since 2016, according to the Human Rights Campaign. That does not include Mack’s murder.

Since May 2018, four trans women of color – including Mack – have been killed in Dallas.    

‘It’s been a very tumultuous time for the Dallas transgender community,’ Carter Brown, the founder of the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, said.

Brown noted that Dallas still had a ways to go if it wanted to be progressive and actually inclusive of trans folks.  

‘For transgender people, there’s not really a place — not within the LGBT community, and, especially for the black trans community, there’s no place in the black community,’ Brown said. 

‘So with no community and no protection from friends or other people — let alone authority or the law — then we are often just attacked and disposed of as a result of transphobia and homophobia.’

‘It just feels like we are out here as open targets.’

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