On Wednesday, nearly 100 mourners gathered for a vigil in Washington, D.C. to honor A’nee Roberson, a 30-year-old Black trans woman who was killed earlier this month. Roberson’s tragic death has raised concerns about violence against the LGBTQ+ community, particularly Black trans individuals.
According to authorities, Roberson was assaulted near Nellie’s Sports Bar in Northwest D.C. in the early morning hours of October 14. She fled her attacker, running into the road, where she was struck by a car. The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) revealed that the driver remained on the scene and cooperated with the police, having no involvement in the initial assault. Roberson later died in the hospital, with an autopsy determining her cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries, resulting in her death being ruled a homicide.
Police are currently investigating whether Roberson’s gender identity played a role in the initial assault. A person of interest has been identified in surveillance footage released by the MPDC, with a $25,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assailant.
The LGBTQ+ community in Washington, D.C., and advocates are urging authorities to take crimes against Black trans women more seriously. At the vigil, community members and leaders expressed their frustration and called for justice. Vincent Slatt, a member of the ANC LGBTQ Rainbow Caucus, emphasized the need for the city to address violence against the trans community more aggressively.
Zachary Parker, the only openly LGBTQ+ member of D.C.’s city council, pledged to keep A’nee Roberson’s memory alive and bring her murderer to justice. A call for an end to the devaluation of trans lives and an end to the disproportionate levels of violence and death faced by the transgender community resonated throughout the event, echoing the sentiments of those who came together to honor Roberson’s life and call for change.