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Chicago mayoral candidate and former Police Board President Lori Lightfoot released the following statement of support as advocates call for reform following the murders of transwomen of color in Chicago.

“Addressing the devastating epidemic of violence against transwomen of color is a critical issue for our next mayor. Today’s press conference led by Equality Illinois, Brave Space Alliance, Broadway Youth Center, and other leaders and activists remembers the lives of Dejanay Stanton and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier and demands justice for these transwomen and so many others who have been murdered.

“As mayor, I will create a task force to investigate the recent murders of Dejanay Stanton and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier. We need to devote resources and police personnel to investigating these murders so that Chicagoans of all gender identities, races, and income levels feel safe.

“It’s clear that, in Chicago and nationwide, transwomen of color are being targeted. At least twenty-two trans people have been murdered this year and in a recent survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality, 46% of trans respondents reported experiencing harassment and 9% reported being attacked physically in the last year. Additionally, the Department of Justice’s 2017 report on the Chicago Police Department revealed what we’ve heard from so many Chicagoans: trans people regularly receive subpar and humiliating responses from the very city departments tasked with protecting all our citizens, including those who are trans and gender non-conforming.

“This cannot continue. In addition to creating the new task force, I will set high standards for how police officers treat members of the trans community, implement improved training, institute safeguards to ensure proper investigation of hate crimes, and provide support for victims and witnesses of hate crimes.

For more details on how a Lightfoot administration would support trans Chicagoans and Chicago’s diverse LGBTQ+ community, click here. Lightfoot’s comprehensive plan for public safety is available here.