LOS ANGELES—Aniya Knee Parker, a 47-year-old transgender woman was shot to death at around 2:58 a.m. on October 2. The murder occurred on the 4400 block ofMelrose Ave. in East Hollywood. Since the suspects have yet to be identified, law enforcement officials implemented a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprits on October 11.
Surveillance video near the crime scene reveals three men approaching Parker. An argument soon follows, where the dispute intensifies with the suspects trying to grab Parker’s purse. She resists and tries to escape before being shot.
According to Los Angeles Police Department’s Rampart Division, Parker was shot in the head. She managed to cross the street, but then collapsed on the sidewalk. She was transported to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. Her purse, containing $24, was left at the scene.
Law enforcement and activists are asking whether Parker’s death was related to her gender identity, and if so it classifies as a hate crime. The Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Anti-Violence Project website explains that California laws provide additional protections and punishments in such cases. Transgender people are disproportionately targeted for violent crimes, which are motivated by actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.
Last July, Los Angeles Clippers guard Reggie Bullock’s sister, Mia Henderson, was found dead in an alley in Baltimore, Maryland.
In June 2013, Zoraida Reyes, a transgender activist, was found dead behind a restaurant in Orange County. An African-American transgender woman, Kandy Hall, was murdered in Baltimore in the same month. Also in June, two transgender women were found dead inFort Myers, Florida, and Cincinnati, Ohio.
The suspects in Parker’s death are described as three Hispanic males between the ages of 20-25. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Rampart Homicide Detective Martinez or Detective White at (213) 484-3623.