Ashley ShermanAge 25
27 Oct 2014
TDoR list ref: tgeu/27-Oct-2014/Ashley Sherman
Ashley's body was discovered by a police officer making a traffic stop in the area. She had been shot in the head.
The body of Ashley (nee Tajshon) Sherman was discovered on the east side of Indianapolis on Sunday evening by a police officer who was making a traffic stop in the area. Ashley was a black trans woman who identified as female according to family members, and called herself Ashley according to co-workers. She had been the victim of numerous cases of harassment and abuse, and was a runaway at age 12. Police later updated their reports with the information that Ashley had been shot in the head. Neighbors in the Tudor Park Condominiums report hearing a shot around midnight that evening.
Initial coverage of Ashley Sherman’s death was complicated by the police and local media mis-gendering her as male after initially identifying her as female, and mis-naming her as her birth name instead of her chosen name. Misreporting trans women’s murders by mis-gendering has been linked to problems with tracking murders of trans women nationwide and hampered police investigations of those murders. Mis-naming murder victims contributes to lack of police evidence as they attempt to speak to friends who might have known the victim by their chosen name but not their birth name.
GLAAD’s guidelines on trans people call for media to correctly identify and name trans people in news stories by their chosen names and gender markers.
TvT project: IndyStar 28.10.2014 & The advocate 30.10.2014