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Baltimore Police Investigate Murder of Transgender Woman

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Jun 9, 2014
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Police in Baltimore, Maryland, discovered the body of Kandy Hall, a transgender woman last Tuesday morning, the Baltimore Sun reports.

"We need the public’s help trying to find out who is responsible for this," Acting Capt. Eric Kowalczyk, a police spokesman who spoke with LGBT leaders in Baltimore about the incident, said. "We don’t know how the homicide occurred yet. We’re waiting for the medical examiner to do the autopsy."

Hall, who lived in Northeast Baltimore, is believed to be the victim of homicide, suffering from a massive trauma to her body. Paramedics pronounced her dead on the scene. Authorities believe she was murdered the same day Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts hosted a discussion for Northeastern Baltimore residents on public safety.

Details about the incident are scarce and Kowalczyk said there weren’t any specific indications of how Hall, 40, was killed that investigators could share with the public. He said the department is containing its work on improving relations with the transgender community, however.

"We’re aware of the concern that the transgender community has with working with law enforcement," he said. "We still want to do whatever we can to bring this case to a close."

Sgt. Jarron Jackson of the Baltimore Police Department told BuzzFeed, "There is not a lot of information" regarding the case.

Aaron Merki, co-chair of the council and director of the Free State Legal Project, spoke with police about the killing Wednesday and said he was confident investigators were "very on top of it, and dedicated to completing the investigation."

Initially, the local police identified Hall as Ricky Carlos Hall and Merki said it was "very inappropriate" for authorities to refer to the victim as a man. Merki added officers are being trained on how to interact with the LGBT community.

Carrie Evans, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Equality Maryland, told BuzzFeed that her group and police are working together.

"There is a historical distrust between the transgender community and the Baltimore Police Department, but this is really a time when people should come forward with any info that would help with the investigation," Evans said. "It is incumbent upon all of us to come forward for everyone’s safety."

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