BY BTL STAFF
DETROIT – The Detroit police are investigating the murder of a 30-year-old African-American male who was found Monday morning between Arizona and Brush Streets on Detroit’s east side. Officers believe the incident happened before 6:30 a.m.
The victim, who Equality Michigan has identified as Melvin, was found dressed in women’s clothing with a fatal gunshot wound to his body. Melvin was a sex worker, identified as a gay man and often wore women’s clothing while earning his living.
Early reports identified Melvin as a potential member of the transgender community, however, friends of Melvin insist that he did not identify as transgender, Equality Michigan reports.
“We have no words to describe the inexplicable and heart wrenching pain we are feeling right now. We can, however, articulate our outrage over this epidemic of violence aimed at our community. Enough is enough. As mainstream communities use our lives and our bodies as political fodder and comedy, our people are dying in brutal and violent attacks. We are not the problem. In the land of the free, we should be able to express our authentic selves freely and without fear for our physical safety, but this is not our reality. In the land of the brave, we lead the way. Because, in this world, openly expressing your gender or sexual orientation in a way that mainstream society regularly demeans, discounts and objectifies is revolutionary,” said Yvonne Siferd, director of victim cervices at Equality Michigan.
Danielle Woods, LGBT Liaison for the Detroit Police Department, told WXYZ news that DPD does not, at this time, see a connection between Melvin’s sexual orientation and his murder. Officers do not have any leads but are hopeful someone will step up and speak out.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Detroit Police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.