MIAMI (CBSMiami) –Family members of a murdered transgender woman feel she was targeted and are asking for help to find her killer.
Chayviss Reed, was shot and killed in northwest Miami-Dade on April 21st. Miami-Dade Police have been looking into whether this was a hate crime.
“I know that you would be here right where I am, asking for the same thing,” said Reed’s mother, Precious McQueen. “Please help.”
On Thursday, the family made their plea alongside Miami-Dade Police detectives.
“It’s heartbreaking. She’s a human being, a person, my child,” McQueen told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
Reed’s mother and stepfather traveled to Miami-Dade Police headquarters in Doral from the Atlanta area to make a plea for help.
“Please, could you all find this killer,” said McQueen. “She didnt’ have to die like this.”
Reed was shot and killed in the area of NW 92nd Street and NW 27th Avenue around 4:45 a.m.
Reed, who was born a boy, was a transgender woman who police say had engaged in prostitution. Police say they do not known if that had anything to do with her death.
“He growed up and he made his own choice. I can’t stop him for that,” said McQueen. “All I can do is love him. It is like he was abused on the streets. He was just trying to be who he could be.”
She feels her daughter was targeted because she was transgender. Reed was the 9th transgender woman who was the victim of a homicide this year in the United States, according to Aryah Lester, who is an expert in the area of crimes against transgender people and is an activist and who says she has organized training for members of the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
“This is very sad,” she said. “As a transgender woman of color myself, it makes me frightened to go out on my own. Disproportionately it is transgender women of color who are targeted by violence. There are a lot of factors. Among them transgender women of color come from an oppressed society.”
“Right here people of color have a lot of issues,” she added, saying “When we live in a male dominated society where masculinity equates with power then we have a backlash.”
Anyone with information is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $3,000.
Police said there was one report from a witness that someone on a bicycle was seen riding away from the crime scene.
“If you know anything, call,” said Reed’s mother. “We need your help.”