Jasmine SierraAge 52
22 Jan 2016
Bakersfield, California (USA)
TDoR list ref: tgeu/22-Jan-2016/Jasmine Sierra
Jasmine's body was found by police on 22nd January in an apartment on the 1000 block of Monterey Street.
Her body showed signs of trauma and foul play is suspected. Whether the police found the body in Sierra's home or a neighbour's house is not known.
Her friends said they had no idea she was killed until weeks later because her birth name was published in the media.
With details scant about Sierra’s death, transgender advocates like Jeriann Guzman, the executive director of the Solano Serenity Center and Kelli Busey, editor-in-chief of Planet Transgender have sought to humanize Sierra and draw awareness about her death. The Solano Serenity Center was among the first to list Sierra on its website among trans homicide victims who must be remembered this year.
“Piecing together her life like a crossword puzzle we are learning a little about her,’” says Busey in her Planet Transgender report. "There’s a Tumblr post where the author postulates a police conspiracy to cover up her murder which local media conspicuously called ‘suspicious.'"
The Tumblr post to which Busey refers alleges mishandling of the investigation by local police. While the author of the post remains unnamed, the individual’s allegations were repeated at the same time as the Tumblr post went live by two other trans people on Facebook (in comments now marked private) by individuals who claim to be friends of Sierra. (The author of the Tumblr post has not responded to a query by press time.)
The accusations on Tumblr and Facebook have yet to be verified because, for over a month, advocates say that Bakersfield police have not responded to queries. Advocates also note that the police’s apparent refusal to clarify the circumstances of the alleged homicide have exacerbated the transgender community’s frustration and fomented rampant speculation.
TvT project: Advocate & Planet Transgender, 04.03.2016