Transgender murders on rise in Jacksonville, nation

Sources say at least 28 transgender people were killed in US last year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Transgender Awareness Project says there's a crisis in their community.

 A new report released by the Human Rights Campaign says at least 28 transgender people were killed in the United States in 2018.

Three of the 28 were in Jacksonville. All were shot to death. A fourth victim was shot but survived.

In all, there were five transgender killings in Florida in 2018.

Paige Mahogany Parks is a part of a local group here in Jacksonville called the Transgender Awareness Project.

"I’m not surprised to hear these numbers because we have no one fighting for us," Parks said.

All but one of the victims in 2018 were trans women, and all except one were a minority. 

"That makes me feel there is a target on my back," Parks said. 

She said she feels police should be doing more about the crimes.

"They are not doing enough. They are not doing anything. The Sheriff’s (Office) here in Jacksonville is like, 'OK, another transgender woman is being beaten or murdered. OK, let’s sweep it under the rug,"' said Parks.

Following the attacks in Jacksonville, Sheriff Mike Williams appointed a board of officers to work as liaisons between police and the LGBTQ community.

Parks said it’s impossible to know an exact count of killings because, at times, police and family do not name the victims as transgender.

It was the second year in a row that more than two dozen members of the transgender community were killed in the U.S.

2017 was the deadliest year, with at least 29 killed.

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