The physique of Bee Love has been positively recognized by Hendry County, Florida legislation enforcement. On September 4, authorities discovered her automobile engulfed in flames with Love lifeless inside. Associates suspect that the 23-year-old Love, who had not too long ago transitioned her gender, was the sufferer of a hate crime.
Buddy Desmond Vereen stated Love was “a individuals individual.” Vereen, who described himself to the Miami Herald as Love’s “homosexual mom” stated, “she cherished to be round individuals, and assembly new individuals, too, due to her new life-style that she transitioned into.” Vereen not too long ago held a memorial for Love and vowed to maintain her reminiscence alive. I’m right here, and I’m going to talk and do no matter I’ve to do, he instructed the Washington Publish.
Love, also called Bee Love Slater, is the 18th transgender individual murdered in the US this yr. “In accordance with obtainable monitoring, deadly anti-transgender violence within the U.S. is on the rise and most victims had been black transgender ladies,” American Medical Affiliation Board Member S. Bobby Mukkamala, M.D. stated, including that crimes in opposition to transgender people is often underreported.
Right here’s what you must learn about Bee Love.
1. Authorities Described Bee Love’s Demise as ‘One of many Most Brutal’ Homicides They’d Seen
Love’s physique was found on September Four after authorities acquired calls round 2:15 a.m. from a number of Clewiston residents reported listening to two loud booms, then noticed flames. Police positioned the fireplace and found a burning automobile subsequent to a canal at 13th Road and Virginia Avenue, within the Clewiston neighborhood of Harlem. After extinguishing the fireplace, first responders discovered Love’s stays.
“The physique is burnt past recognition,” Captain Susan Harrelle of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Workplace instructed the media after the ugly discovery. It took two days for authorities to determine Love by way of dental information. It’s unclear as to why Love was about 30 miles away from her residence in Pahokee, NBC 2 reported.
There are unconfirmed reviews that Love might have been sure and shot earlier than the automobile was burned. The Hendry County Sheriff’s Workplace has not mentioned Love’s precise explanation for demise however did state that her demise was one of the brutal homicides they’d seen.
2. Bee Love Acquired Threatening Textual content Messages Earlier than Her Demise
In accordance with shut pal Kenard Wade, Love was pleased with her transition however had not too long ago turn out to be fearful. Wade, who’d recognized Love for over six years, stated she’d acquired disturbing textual content messages on the evening of her demise.
Love was so involved she talked about leaving Florida and shifting to Atlanta, which she felt was extra accepting of transgender people. Antorris Williams knew Love and stated she was saving up cash to go away city. “She was prepared to sleep in her automobile till she discovered a job and issues of that nature.”
Vereen agreed that Love’s demise might have been fueled by hate. ‘I really feel like she was focused due to her life-style,’ he shared with NBC 2.
3. Bee Love’s Demise is Nonetheless Underneath Investigation
The Hendry County Sheriff’s Workplace stated Love’s demise is at the moment below investigation and may’t be categorized as a hate crime till they’ve decided a motive. Police are asking for the general public’s assist as they work to resolve her homicide.
“Should you noticed something suspicious we’re asking that you just contact us instantly,” Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden stated in a press release. Anybody with info is requested to name (863) 674-5600 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477).
Transgender advocates see Love’s homicide as an indication of elevated violence in opposition to the LGBTQ neighborhood. “I feel the neighborhood is below assault on a nationwide stage,” Michael Riordan, who got here out as a transgender girl at age 37 instructed WPTV. “Deaths are taken nearly with a cavalier angle. That’s tragic. And to be murdered for who you might be is completely despicable and when individuals don’t take it as critical as it’s – that’s much more despicable. It’s actually what makes it a real tragedy.”
4. Love Was Killed the Similar Week as Transgender Teen Bailey Reeves
LGBTQ activists level out that Love was killed simply two days after 17-year-old Bailey Reeves was gunned down in Baltimore. Reeves was leaving a cookout she’d attended with buddies when she was shot within the torso.
Her physique was discovered on Parkwood Avenue by a 16-year-old who heard three gunshots, then screamed, “My pal! Somebody assist my pal! Name 9-1-1! Reeves was rushed to a close-by hospital the place she later died.
“We noticed her laying in the course of the road in a pool of blood, it even traumatized me,” an unidentified witness instructed WMAR.
“This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender individuals of coloration — significantly Black transgender ladies — should stop,” the HRC wrote in response to Reeves’ demise.
5. Florida’s Hate Crime Legal guidelines Don’t Explicitly Cowl Transgender People
Whereas Love’s buddies really feel assured her homicide needs to be categorised as a hate crime, Florida’s hate crime statute solely protects legal acts that “proof prejudice primarily based on race, faith, ethnicity, coloration, ancestry, sexual orientation, or nationwide origin,” the statute reads. The statute doesn’t specificly handle hate crimes dedicated in opposition to transgender people.
In accordance with Equality Florida, state legislation offers elevated penalties for hate crimes primarily based on sexual orientation that has been interpreted to incorporate hate crimes concentrating on the transgender neighborhood as nicely. The group states on its web site that “including specific protections for gender id and expression to our state hate crimes statute continues to be a precedence.”
Sexual orientation accounts for 22% of all hate crimes, in accordance with the workplace of the Florida Lawyer Common. “LGBT Floridians are on the highest danger of being focused with a hate crime,” Equality Florida famous on their web site.