Brazil Johnson, 28, was found fatally shot on June 15 in the city’s Triangle North neighborhood. As of late Thursday, authorities were still searching for clues that can point to a suspect.
“We are outraged to hear of the loss of a young, Black transgender woman in our city,” Alderwoman JoCasta Zamarripa said Thursday during a news conference.
“It is devastating that in light of Milwaukee’s recent Pride celebrations, we are once again reminded of the harsh reality that transgender Black and brown women suffer higher rates of violence than their straight counterparts, as well as their lesbian, gay, and bisexual counterparts,” she added.
At least 19 transgender people have been fatally shot or killed in the US this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign
. In 2021, the campaign tracked a record number of such killings, with at least 50 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson wrote on social media
that he wants justice for Johnson.
“She was talented and loved, and the attack on her appears to be entirely unjustified,” he wrote. “I also want an end to violence against any person victimized because of hate, discrimination, or ignorance. We must recognize that this violence exists, and, collectively, we must work to stop it.”
Capt. Raymond Bratchett, who serves as a Milwaukee Police Department district captain, emphasized that even the smallest details can be a crucial lead that helps law enforcement in the case. People can report information anonymously through Milwaukee Crime Stoppers
The investigation is ongoing, and the motive behind the attack remains undetermined, Bratchett said. It is not yet known if her transgender identity is tied to the reason she was killed.
Milwaukee County Supervisor Peter Burgelis acknowledged residents’ tense relationship with the police department, but he implored anyone with information to share it with law enforcement.
“The trans community in Milwaukee is in mourning; they’re in pain,” he said. “Let’s not forget Brazil Johnson’s name and her story. And let’s find the person or people responsible for this. If you know something, say something.”