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Black Trans Man Shot And Killed In Jackson, Mississippi

Another Black trans person has died under mysterious cover and police are trying to piece together what happened. Mel Groves, described on his social media as a 25-year-old transgender Black man, drove himself to Merit Health Hospital on October 11.

According to the Clarion Ledger, he collapsed while getting out of the vehicle. After being transferred to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, he died. 

Authorities are currently investigating Groves’ death as a homicide and trying to determine a motive for the shooting and who may have been involved. Advocates, however, have slammed local law enforcement for misgendering Groves. 

Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a statement,  “How many times must we point out that misgendering and deadnaming in police reports and news coverage damages the investigations? How many times must we highlight the need for training and action from public safety officials addressing and preventing the violence against the trans community? We cannot continue the way we are going. The time for action is now before even more lives are lost.”

Kirby also added, “What is even more heartbreaking is the fact Mel expressed fear for his life because he was trans living in Jackson. Trans people should not have to fear violence simply because of their identity, but that is our country’s current reality. This has to do with the prevalence of transphobia in our daily lives and the inaction around the epidemic of violence against the trans community.” 

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham-Stewart, however, said gender will not impede the county’s investigation. 

“The cause of death is not going to change whether this person is labeled male or female,

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