LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Following the death of Maryland trans woman Zella Ziona last week, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) contacted U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI Director James Comey to urge them into assisting with the tracking and investigating of transgender murders.
Sen. Franken in a letter to the DOJ and FBI according to The Washington Blade:
“I write to express serious concern about the alarming number of homicides and violent crimes targeting transgender and gender nonconforming people. I strongly urge the U.S. Department of Justice to work with state and local authorities in the investigation and prosecution of these incidents, and to redouble its efforts to ensure the accurate reporting of all bias-motivated crimes.”
Franken mentioned there’s no federal requirement for local and state tracking of anti-trans violence and the DOJ needs to update their own bias tracking program:
“I applaud the Department of Justice and the FBI for their enforcement efforts to date, . . . However, accurate data on the frequency and severity of attacks is needed in order to direct prevention and enforcement efforts to the jurisdictions most in need of assistance.”
Franken also voiced displeasure with frequent police and media misidentification of transgender victims:
“. . . inaccurate or disrespectful reporting regarding transgender victims, have been barriers to investigations. The Department should develop a model policy for law enforcement agencies on interactions with LGBT and gender nonconforming individuals and guidance on public communications regarding crimes against members of the transgender community.”
Senator Franken is clearly a top-notch transgender ally. I’m glad we have him in the Senate.
Sen. Franken has spoken out in support of trans rights in the past: https://lexiecannes.com/2013/05/06/sen-al-franken-fights-for-transgender-lgbt-workplace-rights/
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