Following the shooting death of a Black transgender woman in South Florida on Friday, about 25 people gathered Sunday afternoon in Pompano Beach to mourn her death.
Bree Black, 27, was found dead with a gunshot wound Friday night, according to Broward Sheriff’s Office. No other information about the case has been released.
“We want some immediate answers to what’s going on and we want this investigation to be done with full integrity,” said Tifanny Burks, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward.
Burks stood in front of the group with a small makeshift altar on the ground behind her. Some protesters lit candles placed around a framed photo of Black.
Here’s a small altar for Bree. Organizers say they’re hoping to get in touch with her family & friends. pic.twitter.com/JSzxMsbz0Z
— Bianca Padró Ocasio (@BiancaJoanie) July 5, 2020
“We want to get connected to her family. We want to get connected with her friends because we don’t want this one altar, this one event to be the end,” said Burks.
Relatives of Black were not present. Members of her family could not immediately be reached for comment.
A Broward Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Sgt. Donald Prichard, told the Miami Herald on Sunday that the office had no new updates on Black’s killing.
Prichard also said police had spoken with members of Black’s family, who advised them that Black’s preferred first name was “NUK.” A Facebook account for Black lists her first name as Bree, but the account’s URL shows that the name registered for the account was Nuk Black.
The sheriff’s office included both “NUK” and what they say was Black’s birth name in a press release about the killing. Using a transgender person’s non-preferred name is negatively referred to by advocates as “deadnaming.” Prichard said police “have to release the legal name” and that they did so because it is public record.
At least 18 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the United States this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Black transgender women are especially vulnerable to violence, the organization said.
Last month, thousands of people marched nationwide in rallies for Black trans lives as part of the ongoing mass movement against police brutality and systemic racism.
The group in Pompano Beach on Sunday chanted “No justice, no peace,” as they headed east on Atlantic Boulevard to Pompano Beach City Hall. The protesters briefly blocked traffic on Atlantic Boulevard.
Burks said that, amid rising COVID-19 case numbers in Florida, organizers are urging protesters to get tested if they have been in large crowds in the past several weeks. In front of the city hall, protesters kept a few feet of distance between each other while one volunteer handed out hand sanitizer.
Before the event was disrupted by heavy rain, protesters said they were demanding that the city take urgent action to defund law enforcement and instead support other social services.