Advocates pressure police to solve 2 recent murders of transgender women

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Transgender advocates are calling on the Chicago Police Department to solve two recent murders of transgender women of color.

Valerie Griffin has converted her living room into a shrine for her daughter. De'janay Stanton was shot in the head in a Bronzeville alley almost two months on a Thursday morning.

"I worried about her a lot, a lot, " said a tearful Griffin.

She worried about De'janay's safety because the 24-year-old was transgender. Griffin is convinced being trans may have played a partial role in her daughter's murder.

"It doesn't seem like society and police are too worried about what is happening to them and it's growing it seems like everyday you hear about a transgender getting killed," said Griffin.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there have been a record number of violence based deaths of trans people national wide. Advocates say women of color are especially at risk.

"We are living our truth and are happy, and a lot of times society and people cant accept that and they have issues with that and there is a lot of push back," said Myah Brown, program director for Brave Space Alliance.

Brown said she has experience the push back.

"Over the years as me being trans I have experienced violence, verbal and physical, even in my own relationships, " she said.

Griffin said the key to preventing violence against transgender people is acceptance and Griffin said it must start at home. She says De'janay always had the support of her entire family.

"It really wasn't a problem with her transitioning, she knew she was in the wrong body when she asked me at 3-years-old why God didn't make her a girl, I knew then," said Griffin.

Thursday night, Griffin will join several transgender advocates, including the group Equality Illinois for a 6:30 p.m. press conference and rally at police headquarters. They are not only pushing to solve the murder of De'janay Stanton, but also the October stabbing death of another trans woman Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier.
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