Rally calls for action after transgender woman's killing

Cathalina James is 3rd transgender woman killed in Jacksonville in 2018

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dozens gathered Wednesday evening outside the Duval County Courthouse for a rally in response to the deadly shooting of a transgender woman on the Southside.

Activists said the "Trans Lives Matter" rally was a call for action after last Sunday's shooting, which marked the third transgender woman fatally shot and the fourth to be wounded in Jacksonville in 2018.

"I dream of a future where these sorts of things just don't happen," said Aea Celestice, a transgender woman who attended the rally.

"These things are not OK," Celestice continued. "Our community needs to come up and rise up and take action."

Lakey Love, with Equality Florida, agreed with Celestice.

"We haven't heard a word from the mayor (Lenny Curry). We haven't heard a word from the sheriff (Mike Williams). We had about 60 speakers in front of the City Council last night -- didn't hear a word from a council member," Love said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, however, has publicly addressed Sunday's deadly shooting.

"You hate when anything like this happens," Scott told Florida Politics on Tuesday. "I hope whoever did it is caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"I think the governor needed to say more, but at least he mentioned that he wanted the murderers to be investigated and he wanted the people who committed the murder to be brought to trial," Love said. "That's more than what Jacksonville has said."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released surveillance video Wednesday of a white Buick they said the shooter used in the killing of Cathalina James. She was fatally shot at the Quality Inn and Suites off Dix Ellis Trail.

"I'm glad JSO put out that information," said Paige Mahogany Parks with the Transgender Awareness Project. "They haven't done anything so far, so it's good to know they're trying."

Demonstrators at the "Trans Lives Matters" rally said they won't stop until justice is served for the transgender women who were killed.

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