BY PAUL SCHINDLER | A transgender woman found unconscious and unresponsive in Chelsea on April 25 has died from what appears to have been injuries related to head trauma.
According to the NYPD, on April 25 at about 10:30 p.m., the woman, who sources tell Gay City News was 59 years old, was taken by EMS from where she was found at 343 Seventh Avenue, between 29th and 30th Street, to Bellevue Hospital. Police said she died there on the afternoon of May 4.
The NYPD said an investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, and sources tell Gay City News it has not yet been established that the woman was attacked by somebody else. The police described her injuries as “apparent head trauma.”
According to Julie Bolcer, spokesperson for the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office, as of early Friday afternoon, the victim's body had not yet been released by the hospital and an official inquiry into the cause of her death had not begun.
The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of her family, and where she lived has not yet been made public.
Corey Johnson, the out gay city councilmember who represents Chelsea, released a statement saying, “I am saddened and angered to learn that a transgender woman who was found by paramedics with head injuries in Chelsea has passed away. The NYPD assures me that a swift and thorough investigation is taking place to determine the cause of death. If criminality is involved, all resources must be deployed to apprehend the person or persons responsible. There must be zero tolerance for acts of violence, particularly against transgender individuals, who are disproportionately targeted by hate crimes and discrimination.”
Shelby Chestnut, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, released a statement saying, “In these tragic moments we must remember it’s on all of New York to ensure we end violence against LGBTQ people, especially transgender women of color. Our city must be a welcoming place for everyone and we must look out for each other."
People with information about the woman’s injuries can contact the NYPD at 800-577-8477 or in Spanish at 888-577-4782.