denali stuckey

@AshleeMPreston / Twitter Alex Dalbey

Denali Berries Stuckey is 12th Black trans woman killed this year

Police have not yet labeled it a hate crime.


Alex Dalbey


Posted on Jul 24, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 8:04 am CDT

The killing of 29-year-old South Carolina resident Denali Berries Stuckey brings the number of Black trans woman killed this year up to 12, including three in South Carolina alone.

Police found Stuckey near a road in North Charleston after someone reported a possible pedestrian who had been hit by a car. Instead, police found Stuckey had been fatally shot and left on the side of the road to die.

According to the Root, investigators are hesitant to label Stuckey’s killing a hate crime despite the string of anti-trans violence in the last year.

“We definitely have a homicide. I think it would be premature to label it a hate crime,” North Charleston Police Department Deputy Chief Greg Gomes said in an interview with CBS. “We haven’t closed the book on that or anything else.”

South Carolina is one of only five states in the country that does not have a hate crimes law. A statement to CBS from the city of North Charleston said hate crimes “warrant punishment beyond the jurisdictional range that any municipality can impose” and urged state and federal legislatures to pass more effective hate crimes laws.

Stuckey is the third Black trans woman to be killed in South Carolina since 2018. Her death shook the state’s LGBTQ community.

“I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members,” Chase Glenn, executive director of Alliance for Full Acceptance, told HuffPost. “We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”

Presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called attention to the homicide on Twitter, saying that trans women deserve to live without fear of violence and bigotry.

In another nod to the LGBTQ community, Warren now has she/her pronouns in her Twitter bio. In a statement to NBC News, Warren’s campaign spokesperson Alexis Krieg said Warren “wants every person to know that they are welcome in this movement.”


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H/T the Root

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*First Published: Jul 24, 2019, 5:45 pm CDT