Chyna Doll Dupree was home visiting for Mardi Gras on Feb. 25 when she was shot to death, becoming the sixth trans woman of colour to be murdered in the United States in 2017.
Ciara McElveen was stabbed to death just two days later. She was the seventh.
Both women were murdered in New Orleans. But police told New Orleans paper The Times-Picayune that they "have no reason to believe [the murders] were connected".
Whether "connected" as defined by the NOPD or not, the violence and murders disproportionately levelled against trans women of colour form part of a larger systemic issue. They are connected by racism and misogyny, as well as anti-trans rhetoric and a predominantly white cis male sense of entitlement.
And the prevalence of these murders appears to be escalating as the Trump Administration moves to strip legislation meant to protect transgender Americans.
Jacquarrius Holland, the fourth trans woman of colour to be murdered in the United States this year was shot to death in a city called Monroe, LA four hours north of New Orleans, on Feb. 19.
Holland was 18 years old. She liked working with hair and makeup. Her friend, Chesna Littleberry told mic.com that she'd nicknamed Holland the "eyelash queen".
Dupree performed as a dancer.
McElveen worked with homeless people in her community.
Mesha Caldwell was a hair and makeup artist. Friends describe her as happy, and someone who genuinely loved people. Caldwell was the year's first victim. She was murdered in Mississippi on Jan. 4.
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow was a two spirit woman from the Pine Ridge Reservation. She was set to begin outreach work for TransAction South Dakota when she became the second victim reported to police in 2017. Police found Wounded Arrow's body in her apartment in Sioux Falls, SD on Jan. 6. She was a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe.
Police in Ohio say they won't prioritize an investigation into Jojo Striker's murder despite her mother's pleas for justice. Striker, the third trans woman of colour reported murdered in 2017, was found dead in a garage with a gunshot wound to the torso on Feb. 8.
The Toledo PD has so far dismissed Striker's murder as an outcome of alleged criminal conduct in her past, though they've been unwilling to speak to the nature of that purported activity.
As is the case with police in a number of Canadian and U.S. cities, Toledo's finest appear happy to serve and protect the people who look just like them.
Striker is said to have been misgendered in local news reports, as were Holland and McElveen. Caldwell and Dupree are reported to have been dead named by authorities and media organizations—which in this context refers to the practice of posthumously referring to trans people by their birth names.
Setting aside the blatant disrespect this practice entails, dead-naming in an official capacity makes it all but impossible to track how many trans women have actually been murdered. The number is likely higher than records indicate.
Keke Collier aka Tiara Richmond loved to dance. Her family is said to have loved and accepted her. Collier's shooter inflicted multiple gunshot wounds on the morning of Feb. 21st, making her the fourth trans woman of colour to be murdered in the United States in 2017.
Collier's friend, Retta Collins told the Chicago Tribune, "Even when we got into fights, she didn't want to fight." Collier was 24.