Police Investigating The First Trans Homicide of 2019

Dana Martin, 31, of Hope Hull, is the first transgender person reported murdered in 2019, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Martin was found dead late Sunday night, in a car that had crashed in a ditch off Brewer Road in Montgomery. She had a gunshot wound in her head.

The shooting is still under investigation, Capt. Regina Duckett, of the Montgomery Police Department, said in a statement to AL.com. No additional information was available.

“Please note that MPD publicly identified the victim as male as determined by legal documents and forensic evaluation,” said Duckett. “For MPD, how a homicide victim identifies is a personal matter that becomes relevant to our investigation only if it is determined to be a reason the victim was killed.”

Gillian Branstetter, of the NCTE, said victims are frequently misidentified by police and the media.

Martin’s death has not been classified as a hate crime. Alabama’s existing hate crime law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Dana Martin’s death is representative of the continuing danger that transgender individuals face simply for being themselves,” Rebecca Seung-Bickley, a spokesperson from the ACLU of Alabama, said in a statement to AL.com.

Seung-Bickley cited a report from the Human Rights Campaign that found at least 29 transgender people were killed in 2017 and 26 in 2018.

“This violence is hurting Alabama families and communities and we must all stand together to remember her and the other trans lives lost over the years, and to fight for a future where no one has to fear being killed for who they are."