UPDATE: August 24th 8pm
St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer David Carson would be the one to take the photo that stunned a community. Yesterday we posted the story of Kiwi Herring, who after months of being tormented, harassed and threatened by bigoted neighbors, seemed to have been pushed to a breaking point, sadly resulting in officers taking her life. All she was trying to do was live her life peacefully, and raise her kids. That case is still under investigation.
TMPlanet, has been in contact with a few sources online, and after the Tuesday night vigil a frantic call came in screaming, that “they trying to kill all of us!” Since then more information has come to light of what happened.
In the aftermath of the death of kiwi, members of Trans Lives Matter held a peaceful vigil to honor a sister’s life, when suddenly a car plunged through the mourning crowd, injuring three people.
Shocking images of the car hitting pedestrians near the Transgender Memorial Garden– where a vigil was being held for Kiwi Herring– circulated on social media, thanks to David Carson, a photo-journalist for the St. Louis-Dispatch.
Witnesses said at least one person ended up on the hood of the car and suffered minor injuries. The driver then sped away from the area as police gave chase. A police spokeswoman said the driver was arrested shortly afterwards.
Original story on August 23rd
Kiwi Herring was a married transgender woman who had complained of threats and harassment, a family member said.
The 30-year-old Mississippi native, who was raising three young boys ― ages 4, 7 and 8 ― was shot and killed by police in St. Louis, Missouri, Tuesday morning.
Her relatives allege that a homophobic neighbor and excessive force by law enforcement are to blame for her death.
“Kiwi was harassed and executed and it’s a horrible feeling,” said Herring’s sister-in-law, Crevonda Nance. To add insult to injury there’s current statements of someone running over people at the vigil, though no confirmations as of this release time.
This year’s Montreal, Canada Pride event was interrupted by a moment of silence by Black Queer Lives Matter, who decided to disrupt the minute of silence during the parade because of Pride’s whitewashing and complicity in the erasure of its Black and racialized origins. A bit of drama went down when two white-cis Pride volunteers tried to rip the megaphone out of the hands of BLM member, Lucas Charlie Rose, according to Afropunk Magazine¹.
Organizations like ‘No Justice, No Pride’, and Black Queer Lives Matter have protested several high profile, large metro area pride events in order to speak out against white washing by White Cis-gender gay men, and the violence people of color face from Police officers. Police officers from coast to coast are all reporting themselves as friends of the LGBT community, though that friendship is debated in every city when it comes to Transgender and lgbt people of color.
Even here in Charleston, South Carolina, preparations are under way for a form of protest against Charleston, and North Charleston police departments. The issue has risen with the greater LGBT community, after witnessing several protest around the nation, asked police not to march in the parade for everyone’s safety and well being. The Charleston Police then used a form of black mail by threatening to withdraw any support, traffic duties etc., to assist with the parade unless they are given the right to march. The Later, NCPD, has the highest record of transphobia, even with a cis-gender liaison appointed to address concerns. It is no more than a formality, with little regard by local lgbt organizations to actually address the issues of local trans people. Their goal, simply and shamefully introduce ‘educational talking moments”, just enough to continue receiving their non-profit grants. North Charleston, South Carolina is a place that it is a crime, “off the books”, for any transgender woman of color to walk; walk from work, the store, to eat or even jog. There are dozens of cases. Don’t have a car and trans here? You will be arrested.
Many cis-gender lgb’s don’t seem to understand the need to protest, and often outright demonize the demonstrators who are only asking to look at the alarming arrest records of trans people walking while trans, and the ignored violence against trans people until a death deems it no longer ignorable.
These demonstrations are about the Kiwi Herrings of our community. Her death is an outrage. Too often, even in our community when it comes to the death of trans woman of color, it’s said, “but what about the life she led?” Kiwi was married, by all accounts to friends close to her wife, and a faithful and loving wife herself. She was raising his three boys. TMPlanet has contacted several members shortly before this release. All would say she was not a statistic, she fought hard not to be by becoming a wife, a loving parent that was an example of advocacy and living your authentic truth to her children. But what did happen to Kiwi?
According to acting St. Louis Police Chief Larry O’Toole, Herring, who lived in a two-family flat, “severely cut” a neighbor Tuesday morning. The victim has not been identified.
When officers responded to the scene, Herring took a kitchen knife “and slashed at the officers, slicing the one officer on the arm,” O’Toole said at a Tuesday press conference.
The officers – one a 7-year veteran of the force and the other a 9-year veteran – both fired their service weapons at Herring, O’Toole said. Police have yet to reveal how many shots were fired.
Nance claims witnesses told her they heard “four shots and then a second set of three more.”
The injured officer, whose wound was “not that serious,” was treated at a local hospital and released, according to the police chief. Herring was pronounced dead at the scene.
O’Toole said a motive in the alleged stabbing is “unclear.” However, he did say there had been several calls to the address “for domestic issues.” Nance claims Herring had been a victim of ongoing harassment by neighbors, which came to a head Tuesday morning.
“The neighbor was homophobic and made fun of her,” Nance said. “We couldn’t understand why he was so angry and why he cared about Kiwi’s sexual orientation.”
According to Huff Post²; Authorities have not confirmed Nance’s allegations, but a spokesperson for the St. Louis police told the news outlet that an investigation was ongoing and they are trying to determine what happened and why. Also unclear is whether the officers had attempted to use non-lethal tools, such as mace or a stun gun, prior to the shooting.
“Kiwi was a slim-bottomed woman,” Nance said. “She did not look like she could hurt a fly. She probably was hysterical, but we feel excessive force was used.”³
O’Toole said that as a matter of policy, the officers are on administrative leave, pending the investigation.
Nance said police have since “filed charges of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon” against the spouse, who is Nance’s sibling.
“We don’t know why those charges have been filed,” she said. “We’re trying to get a lawyer.”
Herring was employed as a visiting caregiver, Nance said. Dozens of relatives and friends gathered on the streets outside Herring’s apartment Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil. Later, a group of about 50 people reportedly protested in the streets.
Vance said her family is asking for people to remain calm as they attempt to get more details about what happened.
“I don’t want people out causing trouble,” she said. “Yes, black lives matter. I agree, but I also feel all lives matter. Color or sexual orientation doesn’t. Kiwi was a human being created by god and that matters.”
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- AfroPunk: Black Queer Lives Matter + BLM disrupt Montreal Pride
- Huff Post Queer Voices
- ACLU: Arrested for Walking While Trans: An Interview with Monica Jones
- Charleston South Carolina Pride Parade is scheduled for Sept. 23-25 2017