Friends say murder of transgender woman in Oakland was a hate crime

As is too often the case the victim was a woman of color.

From LGBTQ Nation:

Monday, April 30, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif. — A transgender woman was shot to death in downtown Oakland, Calif., over the weekend, and friends believe her killing was a hate crime.

According to a witness, Brandy Martell, 37, was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 a.m. Sunday when one or two men walked up and began a conversation, reported KGO-TV.

The witness told KGO-TV the conversation was cordial, but then a few minutes later, one of the men became angry and fired into the car where Martell was sitting.

Watch a report from KGO-TV:

Go to the article to see the video:

Until late last year, Martell worked as an outreach worker at a health center in Fremont, Calif., which serves the transgender and transsexual community.

Community organizations have said they believe the shooting was motivated by hate. According to Oakland Occupy Patriarchy, a branch of Occupy Oakland, Brandy was shot by a man who had “become enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans,” reported the SF Weekly.

“When you don’t provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don’t provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it’s socializing or services, this is what happens,” said Tiffany Woods, a friend of Martell’s.

Police are still investigating the murder and said it could be considered a hate crime if they find out that the assailant was motivated by Martell’s actual or perceived gender identity.

One Response to “Friends say murder of transgender woman in Oakland was a hate crime”

  1. Andrea Rosenfield Says:

    I’m not trying to “blame the victim” here; nothing can be done for her now. Just think of this as a public service announcement for the living:

    When a strange man approaches you like that, you’re not about to make a new friend, you’re very likely about to become a statistic. The guy who approached the victim’s car had a gun in his pocket to begin with. Think about that. Why did he have it? Why did he approach in the first place? (Is there an alternate version of this story line that results in the police finding the body of a female, shot to death after a sexual assault?)

    When you’re stopped at a stoplight, and someone approaches your car – especially under the given circumstances – you don’t roll down the window for a friendly chat, you quickly make a turn and get away. Run the light if you have to. For all you know, you are about to get car-jacked! Get the hell out of there! The life you save may be your own.

    This has been a public service announcement for the living who wish to remain so.

    — A.R.

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