Body of black transgender woman, Bee Love Slater found burned beyond recognition in Florida in latest gender identity crime. No arrests made.
Authorities have yet to make an arrest following the macabre death of a black transgender woman found ‘burned beyond recognition’ in her car in South Florida last week. Her death marks the 18th murder of a transgender person in the U.S. this year according to a Human Rights Advocacy group.
Bee Love Slater, 23, was found in her car in Clewiston on September 4. Her death is thought to be the result of her being targeted over her gender identity.
Authorities had initially asked the public’s help in identifying the discovered charred body only for investigators two days later identifying the victim as Bolman Slater VI, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Her death is being investigated as a homicide.
Details of murder remain sparse:
It’s not clear why Slater, from Pahokee, was in the Harlem neighborhood, about 30 miles away.
Investigators with the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office say there’s no motive for the crime yet, but said it was one of the most brutal murders they’ve ever seen, according to The Advocate.
Sheriff’s spokesperson Captain Susan Harrelle declined to reveal details of the case, with the official saying: ‘The only people that would know that would be people who saw that or people who did it.’
Slater’s death marks the 18th killing of a transgender person in the US in 2019, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a majority of the victims being black transgender women.
Why are black transgender women being targeted?
Recent cases have revealed the African American community exhibiting hostile behavior towards black individuals exhibiting sexuality and gender identity contrary to the ones they were biologically born with- and often taunted and assaulted. Such orientation is often perceived as an affront to the community racked with homophobia which often celebrates dominant male behavior.
Friends of Slater remembered her as having a ‘really sweet heart’ who ‘never harmed anyone’.
‘We have more questions than answers,’ Slater’s longtime friend Jackson, who only gave his last name, said to the Post. ‘I don’t know what to believe.’
Jackson says that Slater was often verbally harassed and disrespected for how she dressed.
She underwent surgery this year, which boosted her confidence, but Jackson still dealt with cyberbullying. Jackson said Slater had told her family she was concerned for her safety.
Florida is one of 31 states that do not include gender identity as a basis for a hate crime.