Merci Mack, a 22-year-old Black transgender woman, was found shot to death Tuesday in Dallas.
A passerby called police and emergency personnel after noticing Mack lying unresponsive in the parking lot of an apartment complex about 6:15 a.m., TV station KXAS reports. Dallas Fire-Rescue workers pronounced her dead at the scene. Neighbors had heard gunshots in the area about 5 a.m.
Dozens of Mack’s friends posted messages of sorrow and remembrance on her Facebook page. “My heart is very heavy, Merci you will be truly missed, I am going miss arguing with you, laughing, singing dancing and mostly watching them fine Men!” one wrote.
Over the last five years, more trans people have died by violence in Texas than in any other state, according to The Dallas Morning News, and almost half of those homicides have been in Dallas. Nationwide, Mack’s death is at least the 19th homicide of a trans person this year, with most of the victims being Black or Latinx.
David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, released the following statement: “What do you do when you don’t have the capacity to wrap your head around the pain and trauma a community of people continues to experience and you know that your feelings aren’t half of what’s required to show up as a member of that community? You continue the work and insist that others, who purport to believe that #BlackLivesMatter, also get engaged.
“What pains me most about the continued loss of Black trans life is that nearly everyone who is identified as Black knows the sting of stigma and the trauma of discrimination. We know the horror of being the victim of violence simply because of socially constructed ideas of ‘Blackness.’ This shared experience alone should be enough for each of us, everyone who is Black, regardless of cis or trans experience, to collectively call for and do the work to end the violence that trans and nonbinary members of our community experience — too often in silence. Merci Mack deserves better, as a community we failed her and so many of our trans siblings, and this is beyond unacceptable.”
Dallas police are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Brian Tabor at (214) 671-3605 or firstname.lastname@example.org. CrimeStoppers is also seeking tips at (214) 373-TIPS (8477) and will pay up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest and indictment.