The body of 27-year-old Black trans woman Dominique Rem’mie Fells was discovered Monday on the banks of the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. According to police, Fells sustained injuries to the head and face and was found with both legs severed in a manner that might suggest they were run over by a train. Her legs have not been recovered. The death is being handled as a homicide, staff inspector Sekou Kinebrew told Philadelphia Gay News.
“Fells was an absolutely beautiful woman,” trans woman and community organizer, Deja Lynn Alvarez wrote in a Facebook post, “She was stolen from us. Her life mattered. She, and the hundreds of other trans people taken from us over the years, will never be forgotten. Please join us in remembrance of our sister, demanding justice for her and her family, and embracing love and acceptance for those of us who live in constant worry we could be next. We cannot let hate win.”
The city’s Office of LGBT Affairs, headed by Black trans woman Celena Morrison, released in a statement: “As thousands take to the streets to proclaim that Black Lives Matter, it is critical we remember that this includes Black trans lives. Dominique Rem’mie Fells’ life mattered. We are reminded with this, and countless other painful losses — especially within our transgender communities — that there is much left to do until we achieve full equality, respect, and support for us all. The murder of transgender people — especially those of color — is truly an epidemic and a crisis that we cannot afford to allow to persist any further. Let us uplift her memory together.”
Another Black transgender woman, Riah Milton, was murdered Tuesday in Cincinnati.
A GoFundMe was set up for Fells’ funeral costs.