Another Black trans woman has been brutally slain in America. Kee Sam, 24, of Lafayette, Louisiana, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in a hotel on NE Evangeline Thruway on Wednesday, August 12. She was rushed to a local hospital, but passed away from her injuries the following day. Police have arrested a juvenile in connection with her killing. Sam is believed to be at least the 28th transgender person violently killed this year in the United States and Puerto Rico.
“Another Black transgender woman has been killed in this country,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the transgender justice initiative for Human Rights Campaign (HRC), said in a statement. “We know that Black trans women are disproportionately affected by this violence, and yet far too many still remain silent about the violence we face.”
Police were called to the hotel in northern Lafayette in the afternoon of August 12. There they found Sam in critical condition. Officers administered first aid at the scene before transporting her to the hospital, where she subsequently passed away. Early media reports on her murder misgendered Sam and used her deadname. HRC estimates that nearly 75 percent of all known trans victims are misgendered by the media, law enforcement, and office holders.
Distraught friends expressed kind words for Sam and her loss on her Instagram page. “This can’t be true” said one shocked commenter. Another told her to “rest in love.” Others left broken heart emojis.
Sam’s death is the third violent killing of a trans person in Louisiana in as many months. In July, Shakie Peters, 32, was found dead in the town of Amite near Baton Rouge. Her death is being investigated as a homicide, although police released few details about the cause of death. Later that same month Queasha D Hardy, 24, was gunned down in broad daylight in Baton Rouge. She was found lying in the street shortly after noon and died at the scene.
According to HRC, Sam’s death is all too familiar for the transgender community and highlights the need for added protections and reforms.
“As we mourn Kee, we will continue to advocate for reforms that will protect trans lives,” Cooper noted. “We must all support and protect our trans friends and family. We must also ensure that hate crime laws and judicial systems hold those who hurt us accountable.”