Black Trans Woman Killed While Pounding on Door for Help

by Jamilah King for Colorlines Deshawnda “Tata” Sanchez, 21, desperately sought help as she pounded on the front door of a home in Compt...



by Jamilah King for Colorlines


Deshawnda “Tata” Sanchez, 21, desperately sought help as she pounded on the front door of a home in Compton in the early morning hours of Wednesday morning. But help arrived too late. Sanchez was shot and killed by someone detectives believe was out to rob her.


“Deshawnda is a transgender female,” LAPD Detective Christopher Barling told KTLA. “At this point we cannot say it’s a hate crime but we have not ruled out that as being a possibility.”

A heart-wrenching but potentially helpful detail in the case is that the killing was caught on a nearby surveillance camera. Diana Williams, Sanchez’s sister, watched it.”The footage, it was heartbreaking,” she said.

Sanchez’s death seems eerily similar to Aniya Parker’s, another black transgender woman who was killed in Los Angeles in recent months during what police suspect was a robbery. Parker’s killing was also caught on camera, and while a $50,000 reward has been offered in the case, no one has been arrested for the crime.

Shortly after Parker’s death in October, the Anti-Violence Project issued a statement bringing attention to a rash of recent murders of transgender women of color. The statement noted that the organization has “documented 18 anti-LGBTQ homicides last year. Of those homicide victims, almost 90 [percent] were people of color, almost three-quarters (72 [percent]) of homicide victims were transgender women, and more than two-thirds (67 [percent]) of homicide victims were transgender women of color.”


Photo credit: Facebook/NY Daily News

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