Brayla Stone was a baby. At 17 years old, she had dreams of being a singer and would frequently post videos on her YouTube channel.
Loved by her community, Brayla was someone who “always held space for others to be themselves and express their identities,” according to The Center of Artistic Revolution.
On June 25th 2020, Brayla would become the 4th Black trans woman killed this month.
Brayla was murdered in Little Rock, Arkansas and her body was found in a vehicle on a walking path in nearby Sherwood, according to CBS affiliate TVH11.
According to CBC News, “The Sherwood Police Department is investigating the death as a homicide, but has not released information about how Stone died.”
Following her death, a man bragged about killing Brayla for $5,000 in a now-deleted Snapchat video.
On July 2nd, 2020, 18-year-old Trevone Miller was arrested on a charge of capital murder.
In a statement, Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative from the Human Rights Campaign said: “Brayla Stone was a child. A child, just beginning to live her life. A child of trans experience. A young Black girl who had hopes and dreams, plans, and community.”
“As a nation, we failed Brayla — as we have failed every transgender or gender non-conforming person killed in a country that embraces violence and upholds transphobia, racism, homophobia. Guns are not as important as people.”
At a candlelit vigil, family and friends shared memories of the “fun-loving and generous” teen.
According to Arkansas Online, Rikeya Holmes, Brayla’s cousin, said after the vigil: “I’m just going to remember him by the loving, kindhearted person he was.” (Family members have chosen to misgender Brayla).
According to reports, at least 18 Black transgender people have been killed in the US alone this year and this figure only reflects the deaths that go reported.
With Brayla’s death receiving little to no media coverage, it’s important that we tell her story and amplify the voices of the Black trans community now more than ever. We must protect them while they are still here and fight for the justice they deserve in their deaths.
To sign the petition demanding justice for Brayla Stone’s death, click here