Body of Black Trans Woman Nina Pop Discovered Stabbed To Death
The body of Black transgender woman Nina Pop, 28, was discovered by police on May 3 in her Sikeston, Missouri apartment—145 miles south of St. Louis. Pop had been stabbed several times, the town’s police chief, James McMillen, said Tuesday.
Investigators are looking into the possibility of a hate crime, but a motive has not yet been determined, McMillen said. The region’s major case squad and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are assisting in the investigation. No arrests have been made.
The crime is believed to be at least the 10th violent death of a transgender or gender nonconforming person this year, and the fifth in the past month, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ civil rights organization. All five of the recent victims were transgender women of color, the organization said.
“We are seeing an epidemic of violence that can no longer be ignored. Transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially trans women of color, risk our lives by living as our true selves -- and we are being violently killed for doing so,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative said in a statement.
The National Center for Transgender Equality also issued a statement. “Transgender people — and particularly transgender women of color — are facing a wave of violence,” said Executive Director Mara Keisling. “Police and other government officials must do more to keep transgender people safe, to thoroughly investigate crimes against out community and to stop enacting laws that enable transgender people to be targeted.”
Pop was active on social media on Sunday—posting a Facebook Live video with friends, which according to the timeline of the discovery of her body, may have been filmed in the hours leading up to her death.