Horrifying news out of Orange County, Florida where 27-year-old Sasha Garden is the 4th trans woman of color to be violently murdered in Florida this year. Sasha is also the 15th trans person in the United States known to die a violent death in 2018.
Sasha was originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She had relocated to Florida where she was saving money to fund her transition and hoping to become a hairdresser.
Monica Roberts describes the circumstances around Sasha’s death:
Her body was found at approximately 5 AM EDT behind the Reserve at Lake Buchanan Apartments located at Rio Grande and Holden Ave just east of Orange Blossom Trail. Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators are presuming she didn’t live in the complex where her body was found.
Coroners arrived on the scene at approximately 8:45 AM as Orange County sheriffs began to canvass the area for information.
Garden is the 15th trans person killed in the US this year, and the ninth African American trans and GNC person we have lost to anti-trans violence in 2018.
Her friend, Mulan Montrese Williams, spoke with the media about Sasha’s life and death.
“I let her know about a trans empowerment group that I was having. That was our … first real interaction,” she said. “She was a firecracker. She was very outspoken. She didn’t hold anything back.”
Local media have misgendered and deadnamed Sasha. To make matters worse, investigators have allegedly disrespected and abused Mulan. Per the HRC blog:
According to news reports, officers used anti-transgender slurs when asking Williams, who is also transgender, to identify her friend Garden’s body. HRC calls for a full review of conduct by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office regarding Garden’s death and recommends additional sensitivity training for all officers and support staff.
The investigation has no leads as of yet. Sasha’s friends are planning a memorial event. But for now, she joins too many other trans neighbors who have lost their lives to violence AND been misgendered, deadnamed, had their criminal histories introduced into the narrative of their murder, and more.
We keep sharing this same narrative, time after time. Things aren’t better. The media isn’t doing better. The police are not doing better. We are not doing better. If you read this and feel the appropriate responses, I ask – what are you DOING to make things better?
Rest in power, Sasha. You deserved to live your life in peace and infuse the world with beauty and joy. Your life did matter and your death deserves justice.
- Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien – Massachusetts (January 6) 42 years old
- Viccky Gutierrez – Los Angeles (January 9), 33 years old
- Tonya ‘Kita’ Harvey – Buffalo (February 6), 35 years old
- Celine Walker – Jacksonville, Florida (February 4), 36 years old
- Phylicia Mitchell – Cleveland (February 23), 46 years old
- Zakaria Fry – Stanley, New Mexico (February 19), 28 years old
- Amia Tyrae Berryman – Baton Rouge (March 26), 28 years old
- Sasha Wall – Chesterfield, South Carolina (April 1), 29 years old
- Karla Patricia Pavon-Flores – Dallas (May 9), 26 years old
- Nino Fortson – Atlanta (May 13), 36 yeas old
- Gigi Pierce – Portland (May 21), 28 years old
- Antash’a English – Jacksonville (June 1), 38 years old
- Cathalina Christina James – Jacksonville (June 24), 24 years old
- Keisha Wells – Cleveland (June 24), 58 years old
- Sasha Garden – Orange County, Florida (July 19), 27 years old
This is a post where we are updating the investigations into these homicides.