On Tuesday morning (July 21), 25-year-old India Clarke was found dead in a park near her home in Tampa, Florida. Her death makes her the 10th transgender woman to be murdered in 2015. (Nine of those 10 victims, including Clarke, have been women of color.)
A park employee reportedly found Clarke around 9 a.m.; she had suffered a beating and died from "blunt force trauma to the upper body." Hillsborough County sheriff's detectives are investigating but no suspects had been apprehended or identified at press time.
Family and friends said Clarke had studied cosmetology and described her as someone who "loved to laugh, make people smile."
In 2014, 12 transgender women were murdered in the U.S. This latest case reignited calls for an end to the violence, with many taking to taking to social media to speak out about the senseless killing -- and the problematic media coverage -- using hashtags like #IndiaClarke, #SayHerName, #BlackLivesMatter, and #StopTransMurders. Laverne Cox and Janet Mock are among them.
A candlelight vigil to commemorate Clarke is being planned in Tampa for Friday, July 24.