Police have identified Keyonna Blakeney, a 22-year-old woman –– who was Black and transgender –– as the murder victim found Saturday, April 16, in Montgomery County, Maryland.
She is at least the eighth transgender person killed this year, all of whom have been people of color.
Blakeney is the second Black transgender woman to be killed in Montgomery County since last October. In October 2015, Zella Ziona, who was just 21, was killed during an argument near a shopping center. According to police, at the time of her killing Ziona was carrying flowers to lay on her grandmother’s grave, honoring the anniversary of her death. Police believe she was targeted and charged Rico Hector LeBlond, 20 of Germantown, Maryland, with first-degree murder. LeBlond was indicted in November.
While few details about Blakeney’s killing have been reported, police found her body at the Red Roof Inn on Shady Grove Road and say she died from trauma to her upper body.
HRC extends our deepest condolences to Ms. Blakeney’s family and friends.
For more information on addressing anti-transgender violence, visit hrc.org/trans-violence.