Texas is no stranger to hate crimes that target minorities. In recent months, the Dallas community has been shocked by a series of deadly attacks on transgender women.
In May, hundreds of people from the LGBTQ+ community attended the funeral of Muhlaysia Booker, a 22-year-old transgender woman who was shot and killed. Her body was found on a street in Far East Dallas.
Her death came just a month after Booker was brutally beaten in an incident that was captured on cellphone video that went viral on social media.
In June, police arrested Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, over the death, CBS reported. He is accused of two other deaths and is a suspected serial killer. Police said the earlier beating appeared to be unrelated to the killing.
However, Booker’s death is just one of a series of killings and violent attacks on black transgender women in Dallas, according to reports.
In 2018, 29-year-old Brittany White was shot to death in a car in southeast Dallas. In June, police recovered the body of Chynal Lindsey, 26, from White Rock Lake.
The Texas Tribune reported numerous transgender women lost their lives in North Texas in recent years.
Many of these cases are yet to be solved. Six years ago, 34-year-old Artegus Madden was shot in her home in Savannah, a small town east of Denton.
Shade Schuler, 22, was found shot to death in 2015. Her body was recovered off Riverside Drive in Dallas. That death was the 13th of the year of a transgender person in the United States. Most of the victims were black.
Activists are concerned that many of the killings remain unsolved.
“Look back over the history of the murders of trans persons — the majority go unsolved,” Nell Gaither of Trans Pride Initiative, based in the Bishop Arts District told the Dallas Morning News. She highlighted reports by the Human Rights Campaign that declared transgender violence a “national crisis” in 2015.
HRC points out more than half of the killings of transgender women occurred in southern states.
Texas enacted a hate crimes law after the murder of James Byrd Jr., a 49-year-old black man, who was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck. White supremacist, John William King was executed by lethal injection in Texas on April 24.
Hate crime convictions remain rare in Texas. If you have been accused of a crime of violence, please contact our Dallas-based criminal defense team.