One Equal World

Suspect Apprehended in Murder of Transgender Woman

Posted on: September 16, 2016

A photo of crime scene tape that reads, "crime scene, do not enter."

Image: Shutterstock

On July 4, 2016, transgender woman Deeniquia Dodds was shot in the neck in Washington D.C. The 22-year-old spent nine days on life support before she passed away. After more than two months, police finally have a suspect in custody.

Yesterday, September 15, police apprehended 22-year-old Shareem Hall in connection with Dodds’ murder. However, Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said there’s no reason to believe the shooting was a hate crime.

“In all likelihood, we believe the motive in this case was robbery,” Newsham stated.

But that doesn’t make members of the transgender community feel any safer. A 2013 national report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reveals that 72% of all hate violence homicides were transgender women. To make matters worse, 67% of these victims were transgender women of color.

Earline Budd, a transgender activist and friend of Dodds, was both shocked and heartbroken by her murder.

“We always expect that we’re in harms way in terms of robberies and assaults and things that happen, but murder? No,” Budd stated in an on-air interview.

Dodds’ is estimated to be the 15th transgender person murdered this year. Joeann Lewis, a family member who helped raise Dodds, said that Dodds was a prostitute. Lewis often worried about Dodds safety. Dodds being African American, transgender, and a prostitute put her at a much higher risk.

“Regardless of what their sexuality is, they are human beings just like we are,” Lewis stated.

Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham assured the community that they’re taking the crime seriously, and will prosecute the murderer to the fullest extent of the law.

“Whenever we lose a life in our city, we take it personally,” Newsham stated. “We want folks to know that we are going to continue to work to make sure we hold people responsible for this kind of violence on our streets.”

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