Tiffany Edwards, Photo from WLWT-TV, Cincinnati

Suspect in Tiffany Edwards' Murder Turns Himself In

BTL Staff

OHIO - The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs mourns the 4th death of a transgender woman of color in June.

Edit Quamar Edwards, suspect in Tiffany's shooting, turned himself in after police issued a warrant for his arrest on July 5th. Edwards is not related to Tiffany but says he "lost his cool" after Tiffany allegedly "came onto him," WLWT reports.

This type of defense is known in the legal world as "trans panic" or "gay panic" where someone's own internalized sense of transphobia or homophobia drives them to commit a violent crime. It has been used many times over and has been discouraged by the American Bar Association. Lawmakers in California are currently working to ban the defense all together.

Original report from June 26.

Police are seeking information regarding the death of 28-year-old transgender woman of color, Tiffany Edwards, who was found at 8 a.m. Thursday morning. Her body was found by a city sanitation driver after she was gunned down and left in the middle of the street.

BRAVO, the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization believes the murder was hate-motivated and that Edwards was targeted because of identity.

Cincinnati media, Local 12 WKRC-TV, disregarded her gender identity, completely misgendering her in initial reports.

"We continue to be concerned that these homicides are often not investigated or reported on accurately, despite an alarming level of violence against transgender women of color," Aaron Eckhard, BRAVO's training and technical assistance director said.

This is the fourth murder nationwide of a transgender woman of color in June and the fourth murder of a transgender woman in Ohio in the past 18 months. Three of those victims were women of color.

"It's devastating that we've lost another community member to violence," Shane Morgan the founder and chair of TansOhio said. "Tiff, as her friends knew her, lost her life this morning. The brutality and violence we see being committed against trans communities of color is real. It's happening in our own cities, in our own state. This violence needs to end. Trans lives matter CeCe Dove, Brittany Stergis, Betty Skinner and Tiff. Their lives matter."

CeCe Dove, 20, was killed in January but her body found three months later. Her killer, Andrey Bridges, 36, was convicted in November and sentenced to life in prison.

Betty Skinner, 52, was found dead in her apartment in December.

Nicole Kidd Stergis, 22, was found in December, beaten t death and left in her car. Delshawn Carroll, 19, was arrested and charged with aggravated murder earlier this June.

Zoraida Reyes' body was discovered on June 12th behind a Dairy Queen. Investigators have yet to rule out homicide.

Kandy Hall was discovered in Northeast Baltimore on June 3rd and on June 19th Yaz'min Shancez was found in Fort Myers, Florida.

"We are alarmed by this crisis of violence," Osman Ahmed, NCAVP's Research and Education Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project said. "This is the fourth suspicious death or homicide of a transgender woman of color in the United States this month alone. For many transgender women of color, who are disproportionally affected by violence, the motive for homicides is never determined and the investigations are rarely completed. This pride season we demand that this crisis be addressed."

The NCAVP's recent anti-violence report indicates that violence against LGBT is actually on the rise. However, the reported incidences are decreasing in number. Click Here to read the BTL wrap up of the report.


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