Advocates sound alarm on murders of transgender women in Philadelphia

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner was among a group of LGBTQ activists who spoke about a troubling trend of deadly violence against trans women in the city over the recent years. 

Investigators say on Thanksgiving morning, Sharee "Diamond" Jackson-McDonald - a transgender woman - was found shot to death inside a Germantown apartment. The murder of Jackson-McDonald was the 35 killing of a transgender or gender-non-conforming person in the United States this year. 

"Her life mattered, she should still be here today," Celena Morris from the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ affairs said. "Violence against trans people, especially our trans siblings of color, continues to be an epidemic in this country."


In Philadelphia alone, authorities say seven transwomen have been killed in recent years. Krasner argued that violence against the trans community is an ugly outgrowth of hateful speech that comes from a history of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. 

"It's no secret that law enforcement, including prosecutors' offices, have historically discriminated against LGBTQ+ people," Krasner said while flanked by advocates holding pictures of Jackson-McDonald. 

They believe the trend of deadly violence against transwomen is targeted and often at the hands of people the victim knew. 

Police say Sharee Jackson-McDonald, 27, was found shot to death inside a Germantown apartment on Thanksgiving morning.

"I met Diamond at a candlelight march I organized for Shantee Tucker, another Trans woman who was killed back in 2018," Tatyana K. Woodard from the Mazzoni Center said. "Tragically, here we are some years later at a press conference because she has now been murdered."

Authorities urge anyone with information on the killing of Jackson-McDoanld to contact the Philadelphia Police Department immediately.

"Whoever you are, you took away my gem, my Diamond, someone whom was all about her family and friends," Jackson-McDonalds' mother Linda Jackson said. "You tore many hearts and we will not rest until we get justice. I will not sleep until you are caught."