May 1, 2012
Transgender Woman Murdered in Oakland. Nobody Cares.


A murder occurred in Oakland early Sunday morning. As of this posting, there is exactly one — count it — one, article about the incident in the media, at least as measured by Google News hits for Oakland murder.

37-year-old Brandy Martell was sitting behind the wheel of her car around 5:15 a.m. at when one or two men walked up and began a conversation. A witness told ABC7 the conversation was cordial, but then.. one of the men became angry and fired into the car right where Martell was sitting.

“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,” Martell’s friend Tiffany Woods told ABC7.

As Horace Boothryd’s breaking diary yesterday noted, there was an email notice send out about the murder Sunday evening, with a damning claim about police inaction.

Brandi, a transwoman, was murdered last night, shot at 12th and Franklin in Downtown Oakland after an altercation with a man who became enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans. An amazing #oo comrade tried to keep her alive with training learned from the People’s Community Medics, but the cops walked away and the ambulance came too late.

If you are doubting whether this could possibly be true, I suggest you read Politicized ‘Hate Crimes’, the OPD and District Attorney O’Malley, and judge for yourself.

It is true that Oakland is a high-crime city, at least if you consider the data per capita. But Oakland is just not that populous, so that you might think that each of the some 110+ murders a year that occur within its boundaries would garner significant media attention. But as of five o’clock today Oakland’s flagship newspaper, the Oakland Tribune, had absolutely nothing about a rather shocking crime that took place just a block from Frank Ogawa Plaza / Oscar Grant Park.

Think about what the newscape would look like if a well-heeled, white, Oakland citizen living on “the right side of the tracks” (or, in Oakland parlance, “the hills”) had been the victim. Or consider that another murder that took place at almost the same location in November of 2011 while Occupy Oakland was camping in the Plaza rated world-wide headlines. I will leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine how many articles there were about broken windows in Oakland on November 2nd, 2011.  

So this is how yet another (and another, and another and another) transgender woman dies; a victim simultaneously of hatred and a conspiracy of silence.


(Source: transfeminism, via daggerpen)

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