Many questions remain unanswered following the death of a transgender Black man, Tony McDade,
who was killed by police in Tallahasee, Florida, on May 27.
➤ TONY MCDADE, from p.14
turn messages seeking details.
McDade posted an hour-pluslong
video on Facebook prior to the
incident during which he discussed
an altercation he had with an individual,
about police misconduct, and said
he was worried about the prospect
of being incarcerated again.
The killing of McDade came during
a week of racist incidents nationwide
that started on Memorial
Day when a white woman, Amy
Cooper, called the police on an out
gay Black man, Christian Cooper
— falsely claiming that “an African
American man is threatening
me” — after he merely asked her
to leash her dog in Central Park.
On that same day in Minneapolis,
George Floyd was killed by police
offi cer Derek Chauvin, who shoved
his knee into Floyd’s neck until
and even after the man stopped
moving. The week continued with
protests about the March 13 fatal
shooting in Kentucky of a 26-yearold
Black woman, Breonna Taylor,
who was killed by police after they
entered her home.
Following McDade’s death, organizations
dedicated to LGBTQ
rights and racial justice sought
to raise awareness about his case
while also voicing displeasure
about the rising death toll of Black
transgender individuals and Black
Americans who have been targeted
at disturbing rates. With McDade’s
death, at least a dozen transgender
or gender non-conforming or
non-binary individuals have died
violent deaths this year, the overwhelming
FACEBOOK/ TONY MCDADE
majority of those victims
being Black transgender women.
“We don’t know a lot of the details
around Tony’s death, or how
police became involved,” David J.
Johns, executive director of the
National Black Justice Coalition,
said in a written statement. “We
do know that Tony should not have
been killed. We must work together
to raise awareness about the
unique challenges that Black LGBTQ/
face. It is important to highlight
the too-often ignored violence that
members of our community face in
addition to the discrimination we
may experience because we are
Tori Cooper, the director of community
engagement for the Human
Rights Campaign’s Transgender
Justice Initiative, said the organization
and the entire transgender
and non-binary community are
demanding accountability about
McDade’s and others’ deaths.
“While these deaths are visible
due to recordings and social media,
we know far too many go completely
ignored,” Cooper said in a
written statement. “Black people,
LGBTQ people, and especially all
LGBTQ people of color are at greater
risk for violence every day in this
country. This must end.”
The National Coalition of Anti-
Violence Projects said in a tweet
that the organization “mourns the
death of Tony McDade, a Black
transgender man whose life was
tragically lost to police violence in
Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27,
2020. Our deepest condolences to
the family and friends of Tony.”
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