Police investigating deaths of two Black trans women in first two days of 2022

A Black trans woman was shot dead on New Year’s Day, while a second was found dead in suspicious circumstances a day later.

Amariey Lej (spelled Amarey in some reports), a 20-year-old dancer and youth artist apprentice, was found with a fatal gunshot wound by police in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania in the early hours of 1 January.

Police responded to calls of a lifeless body lying in the street at around 6am. Lej was found at the 1300 block of Wood Street.

Local trans community support centre SisTers PGH confirmed Lej was a trans woman on 2 January. Initial local news reports misgendered her.

On 2 January, a trans woman named by TransGriot as The Duval Princess died in Jacksonville, Florida.

According to the site, a Black trans-led news outlet that monitors violence against trans people, she was found on the floor of a parking lot. However, doctors reportedly noted her injuries were not in line with a traffic accident and detectives are now treating her death as suspicious.

These reports come after a year in which a record number of trans people were violently killed.

According to Human Rights Campaign, at least 51 trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people were killed in the US in 2021 – the majority Black, trans women.

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