"It's been a very hard week, especially around the holiday." Friends and family of Chae’Meshia Simms are heartbroken and looking for answers after her death.
Richmond, Virginia emergency personnel were called to the scene of a car accident on Monday (November 30) around 6 a.m in the Washington Park neighborhood. Upon arrival, they discovered Chae'Meshia fatally shot in the driver’s seat of her mother’s rental car.
According to a report by WTVR News, Simms was on her way home.
Local police are working to find answers in the case, Simms family vowing to “never stop looking” for whoever is responsible for taking her life.
Simms’ friends and family held a candlelight vigil in her memory on Friday (November 27). Her father acknowledged the outpouring of love by the community saying, “With the help of the LGBT community, the support of the Richmond Police Department, as you can see out here with the community, we’re going to continue to keep looking.”
He made a personal appeal to whoever is responsible, saying “I ask them to turn yourself in,” adding, “We’re never going to stop looking. We’re never going to stop looking.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Simms’ death may be the 39th violent death of a trans or gender non-conforming person just this year. An accurate number of deaths is not known because many trans deaths are not reported or are misreported in the media.
Tori Cooper, the HRC’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative said, “We are mourning Chae’Meshia along with her friends and family. Although I did not know Chae’Meshia personally, she was from my hometown, and her death impacts the trans and gender non-conforming community everywhere.”
“We are continuing to see a devastating rate of violence against trans and gender non-conforming people in the United States, especially against Black and Brown trans women," Cooper said, "and it must be stopped. It takes all of us to speak up and take action to end this violence.”
Photo: Getty Images