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Transgender Woman Found Dead in Louisiana

Trigger warning: transgender death, potential hate crime

Last Thursday, August 30th, a transgender woman was shot to death in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The police received a call around 4:30 A.M. with a report of gunshots in the area. When the police arrived, they found Vontashia Bell, aged 18. She had been shot in the chest and wrist and was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead. There is no reported motive so far.

Her story had not been reported by LGBTQ+ outlets sooner because Bell was deadnamed and misgendered in local media reports of her death. (Meaning that they had used her previous name and identified as a male rather than as female.)

Louisiana Trans Advocates spoke out on the manner and said:

“Dehumanizing language and actions lower the barriers to this kind of senseless violence. Shreveport and Louisiana leaders must speak out against these killings, against the ongoing, systemic devaluation and trans people that pervades our media and politics, and against the institutional racism that places almost all of this burden on trans women of color.”

Vontashia Bell is the 17thtransgender person killed this past year with 4 months left until the year is over.

Investigators ask that anyone who has information call the Shreveport police department at 318-673-6955 or their anonymous number, 318-673-7373. They are offering a $1000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

May Vontashia Bell rest in power.

h/t: lgbtqnation.com, LA Trans Adocates