The murder of a 41-year-old Nepali trans woman incarcerated in California in 2022 has come to light after her parents filed a lawsuit against the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The suit alleges that Kylie was inappropriately housed with a violent cellmate who was a registered sex offender, putting her in jeopardy.
According to the suit, Kylie’s 61-year-old cellmate beat her for 68 minutes until she died. According to the suit, jail staff did not conduct a routine check of the cells as required by their internal policy, only discovering Kylie’s death when other inmates raised the alarm.
Born and raised in Nepal, Kylie completed her O-Levels from The Kathmandu Academy. She came to the US on a F1 student visa at the New College of California in San Francisco in 2002. At the time of her death, she was incarcerated for her participation in a 2008 murder.
Still, she didn’t deserve to be executed by another inmate. It wasn’t ‘jail justice’ – it was a brutal assault and murder. The decisions of the people responsible for her care sent a horrifying message to all trans people in the prison industrial complex, right?
Again, according to HRC
Kylie’s parents are suing the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, alleging failures by several of its leaders and deputies allowed her to be killed by her cellmate. The suit states that the department acted negligently and in violation of both U.S. Constitution and state laws by allowing Kylie to be housed in a cell with a convicted sex offender who had a history of violent behavior. The suit states that sheriff’s personnel knew Kylie’s cellmate posed an imminent threat to Kylie, who was particularly vulnerable because she was transgender and HIV-positive, and yet the sheriff’s department allowed the two to be housed together at the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. The suspect in Kylie’s death faces additional homicide charges, and remains in custody.
The new court case, filed Friday in federal court, adds to the many similar suits over inmate deaths that have been recently against the department, which is also being investigated by the state attorney general over the deaths and other allegations of misconduct and civil rights violations.
Kylie is the 41st transgender person killed in the year 2022. Her death is the 13th reported death during 2023. She is the 33rd person of color from these neighbors respectively. She is the 30th woman of color from these neighbors. For the entire year of 2021, victims include 21 Black trans women, 5 Latinx trans women, 3 AAIPI trans women, 1 Native/Indigenous person, 2 white trans women, 3 Black trans man and 3 white trans men. The youngest was 15, the oldest was 50. Twelve were 25 or younger. Their deaths camee 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.
Kylie was in the custody of the state and they have an obligation to keep her safe while she remained there. The heinous nature of her alleged crimes (she was due to be retried soon after her death) do not diminish the heinous nature of her murder. I have a hard time understanding why ANYONE would share a cell with a violent repeat sexual predator. We have to ensure trans folx are safe when in any type of state custody.
Rest in power, Kylie. Your family seeks justice in your name. I am sorry the system failed you. I am sorry that we failed you.
May your memory be a revolution.