Trans neighbors and allies turned out Sunday evening to honor the life of Yazmin Vash Payne (also known as Yazmin Paris), a 33 year old trans woman of color who was found stabbed to death in the middle of an apartment fire. They were joined by Van Nuys Assemblywoman Patty Lopez. These photos are courtesy of Yesenia Valdez Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
An 80 minute video that was livestreamed from the vigil is at the bottom of this post. It is very touching to have this glimpse into the vigil. The video is #NSFW because of some of the language. Violetla recorded this. Her channel can be found here. There’s a haunting power to the chanting in multiple languages with the drumming in the background. Video shared with permission. Participants staged a die-in to claim space for those who have been lost and those who remain. Please note that the videographer Violetla has asked that you obtain her permission to distribute her video, including still shots. Sharing this post is fine, but please don’t lift out the original video without contacting her.
In other news, the man wanted in her murder has turned himself in to police.
A 25-year-old man wanted for questioning in the apparent stabbing and arson murder of a transgender woman in a Van Nuys apartment surrendered to police Sunday and was booked for suspicion of murder, a police official said.
Ezekiel Dear turned himself into the LAPD’s 77th Street Station about 3:30 p.m., said station Sgt. Neil Wank. He was accompanied by a local pastor, the sergeant said.
He was questioned by detectives and then booked at the Van Nuys Station at about 9 p.m., said Police Services Representative S. Ball.
As I wrote yesterday, the domestic violence that took the life of Yazmin is linked to the violence that left 20-year-old Candra Keels dead in the streets while her girlfriend stood next to her body with the knife in her hand. Candra was a cis gender queer woman of color. Violence within our families and our relationships is fatal for members of our community. As we call for respect and equality from institutions, we must remember that family institutions are critical to that dialogue.
You won’t regret watching the entire vigil. Please note that the videographer does explore issues related to police conduct in this context and other contexts. I typically do not blog about police misconduct due to the nature of my partner’s job. I do not necessarily endorse or support her statements or her tactics regarding the police, but I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share the video.
Video of the vigil