Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Epidemic of Transphobic Violence Breaks Out in Memphis Again


Terron Taylor, accused of shooting transwoman Kelvin Denton

Terron Taylor, accused of shooting transwoman Kelvin Denton

Memphis, TN – For the fifth time since 2006, a transgender woman of color has been shot in the streets of Memphis, Tennessee on May 27.  Authorities report that Kelvin Denton, an African American transitioning from male to female, was shot in the neck and face by an assailant who did not like the way she presented her gender identity.  Ms. Denton is in critical condition as of this writing.  After being shot, Ms. Denton managed to run from the scene of the shooting at the Peppertree Apartments, until finally collapsing near the Whitehaven Community Center.  Police arrested Terron Taylor for the crime, who said that he felt he had been “misled” about the gender identity of his victim.  Such early testimony indicates that the defendant will be using some version of the trans-panic defense to justify his violent attack on Ms. Denton.  Taylor is being held on $500,000 bond in Shelby County on two charges: attempted second degree murder and using a firearm to commit a felony.  The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition is urging the swift and aggressive prosecution of Taylor for the crime.  Tiffany Berry was shot and killed in Memphis in 2006, as well as Ebony Whitaker and Duanna Johnson in 2008.  Leeneshia Edwards was also shot in 2008, but survived.   The ferocity of these attacks calls for renewed action on the part of the Metro Memphis authorities to put a stop to the violence against transgender people, especially trans people of color.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Blame the victim, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, trans-panic defense | , , , , , | 1 Comment


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