Reecey Walker, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman from Wichita, Kansas, was fatally stabbed last Sunday, May 1. A 16-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Walker worked for an apartment complex, but friends say Walker planned to work toward becoming a counselor. One of Walker’s friends, to whom the press only referred as Victoria, recalled, "[Walker] wanted to get a degree in psychology or social work to try to become a counselor to help other people try to get through some of the same struggles [Walker] had been through.”
While police have not identified a motive in the attack, they are not investigating it as a hate crime, and the assailant’s mother has said that Walker was attempting to sexually assault the boy when he stabbed Walker. Friends of Walker have publicly refuted the accusations.
While the details of the altercation between Walker and the boy are unclear, it is important in cases like this both to consider the rarity of false reporting by survivors of sexual assault as well as the potential influence of the harmful and false rhetoric portraying transgender people as sexual predators.
Transgender people, and transgender women of color in particular, face disproportionate levels of fatal violence. At least eight other transgender people have been killed this year, and several others have died under unclear circumstances.
Our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Reecey Walker.
For more information on addressing anti-transgender violence, visit hrc.org/trans-violence.