Dede Ricks, a 33-year-old Black trans woman, was shot to death in Detroit on August 27, 2022. Dede was from Ohio, possibly Cleveland.
While police have identified, arrested, and charged a suspect in her murder, there is not much information known about DeDe (sometimes styled Dede) or her family. We do know that she did not deserve to die nor to be shot by anyone.
Her death was announced by Detroit law enforcement including her deadname for reasons that remain unclear. I have not republished that name.
Kym Worthy announced that a suspect, 31-year-old Detroit resident Deontae Antoine Close, had been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and a felony firearm possession.
Them.us reports that Michigan is experiencing increasing political and community attacks on the transgender community, including proposed statewide legislation. The July murder of Hayden Davis remains unsolved.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy says the two incidents do not seem to be related, but bias crimes are on the rise.
“We must strongly reject tropes labeling LGBTQ citizens as groomers and pedophiles, because that is precisely the reason why these crimes are escalating,” said Worthy.
Worthy says members of the LGBTQ community are the second most targeted group for hate crimes nationally. Michigan reported 377 hate crimes in 2020, 62 were motivated by biases against gender identities and sexual orientations. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 28 transgender people have been shot or killed in the U.S. this year. Four of those crimes have occurred in Michigan.
Julisa Abad is a victim advocate for Fair Michigan and believes social media is fueling violence against the trans community.
“We also know the stigma that comes with being trans, right? If you are a defendant and think that a trans person is not going to come forward and report. Or you think that police is not going to be culturally competent and take your crime serious, you’re more than likely going to assault us, cause us harm, go out there and try to victimize us, right,” Abad says.WDET
Meanwhile organizations like Transgender Detroit have continued to present programming, including an annual conference, TransFusion, while recently electing new leadership. Meanwhile, statewide organization Fair Michigan has appointed a new Special Prosecutor for their Fair Michigan Justice Project.
But it is an uphill battle when people are still leaning into ridiculous, but devastating, beliefs about the validity of gender identity.
Dede is the 28th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. She is the 18th Black trans women and the 23rd woman of color from these neighbors respectively Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 8.5 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 18 Black trans women, 3 Latinx trans women, 2 AAIPI trans women, 2 white trans women and 3 white trans men. The youngest was 17, the oldest was 50. Ten were 25 or younger. Their deaths come on the heels of 2021, the most violent year in recorded history with the deaths of 57 trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people in the United States alone. Note that the tabulation includes a significant number of reports of folx murdered in 2021. This might be confusing. Of course it is confusing. I tried to sort it out below.
Rest in power, Dede. You deserved to live a peaceful life, appreciated and valued for your true identity. I hope we learn more about your life, but I know you didn’t deserve this final chapter. Thank you for all that you brought to the world.
May your memory be a revolution.
This is our list of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors who have been victims of the campaign of terror in 2022. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.
As six additions to our 2021 list have been revealed in 2022, I am adding them in a separate list below to try and make any sense of this increasing horror. These folks deserve their lives and deaths to be honored and remembered. The complexity only underscores their realities.
- Amäriey Lèį (Myara) – Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. January 1, 2022. Age 20.
- Duval Princess – Jacksonville, Florida. January 2, 2022. Age 24.
- Naomie Skinner – Detroit, Michigan, February 12, 2022. Age 25.
- Cypress Ramos – Lubbock, Texas, February 13, 2022. Age 21.
- Paloma Velasquez – Houston, Texas, February 26, 2022. Age 29.
- Matthew Spampinato – New Castle, Delaware, February 9, 2022. Age 21.
- Tatiana LaBelle – Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 2022. Age 33.
- Kathryn Newhouse – Canton, Georgia, March 19, 2022. Age 19.
- Kesha Webster – Jackson, Mississippi, March 26, 2022. Age 24.
- Miia Love Parker – Chester, Pennsylvania, April 1, 2022. Age 25.
- Ariyanna Mitchell – Hampton, Virginia, April 2, 2022. Age 17.
- Fern Feather – Morristown, Vermont, April 12, 2022. Age 29.
- Ray Muscat – Clarkston, Michigan, May 8, 2022. Age 24.
- Nedra Sequence Moss – Opa-locka, Florida, May 14, 2022. Age 50.
- Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway aka “Sid” – Albany, New York, May 31, 2022. Age 30.
- Sasha Mason – Zebulon, North Carolina, May 13, 2022. Age 45.
- Brazil Johnson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 15, 2022. Age 28.
- Shawmayné Marie McClam – Gulfport, Mississippi, June 21, 2022. Age 27.
- Kitty Monroe – Memphis, Tennessee, June 29, 2022. Age unknown.
- Martasia Richmond – Chicago, Illinois, July 12, 2022, Age 30.
- Toi Davis – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 16, 2022. Age 34.
- Keshia Chanel Geter – Augusta, Georgia, July 20, 2022. Age 26.
- Cherry Bush – Sylmar, Los Angeles, California, July 6, 2022. Age 48.
- Hayden Davis – Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 2022. Age 28.
- Marisela Castro – Houston, Texas, July 29, 2022. Age 39.
- Dee Dee Kandii Redd – Kansas City, Missouri, July 24. Age 29.
- Maddie L. Hofmann – Malvern, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2022. Age 47.
- Jasper Aaron Lynch – McLean, Virginia, July 7, 2022. Age 26.
- Dede Ricks – Detroit, Michigan, August 27, 2022. Age 33.
These are deaths reported in 2022 and beyond.
- 52 Za’Niyah Williams – Houston, Texas. December 20, 2021, reported on Jan 5, 2022. Age 21.
- 53 Nikki Turrietta – Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 31, 2021, reported on January 27, 2022. Age 31.
- 54 Keeva Scatter – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 15, 2021, confirmed on February 13, 2022. Age 34.
- 55 Rubi Dominguez – Brownsville, Texas, July 15, 2021, confirmed on February 13, 2022. Age 29.
- 56 Martina Caldera – Houston, Texas, December 6, 2021. Age 38.
- 57 Geri Judd – Bossier, Louisiana, September 28, 2021, confirmed March 1, 2022. Age 60