Courtney “Eshay” Key, 25, died after a gunshot wound to the head on December 25, according to the Chicago Police Department. Officers discovered her body lying unresponsive on the south side of the street at 900 E. 82nd Street.
The city’s medical examiner’s office has declared the incident a homicide. The investigation is ongoing. So far, the perpetrator is unknown.
Family and friends blasted police reports for misgendering the victim. The victim’s friend, Beverly Ross, told CBS2 Chicago she believes Key was killed because of her gender. Relatives and friends are requesting the police investigate this incident as a hate crime.
“I believe Eshay was targeted,” Ross told the news station. “We need to get to the bottom of this because Black trans lives matter. We are not going anywhere.”
The police did not comment when Gay City News asked if they’re investigating the incident as a hate crime.
The victim’s friend recalled that Key wanted to “beat the odds” and “be something.”
Key’s death is the latest in a string of murders against Black transgender people in the US. Last week, Gay City News reported that Bella Pugh, a gender-non-conforming teenager, was killed at a Christmas party in Prichard, Alabama, near Mobile.
With Black and Latinx trans women accounting for a disproportionate number of these deaths, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, announced that this year is the deadliest on record for the trans community, with at least 42 known victims of violent fatalities.
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