Philadelphia Police Offer $20,000 for Information in Transgender Murder Investigation

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A lawsuit accuses police in Columbus, Ohio, of using excessive force against black residents. Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Philadelphia authorities are searching for a suspect or suspects wanted for the murder of 22-year-old Keisha Jenkins, a transgender woman who was assaulted and killed on Tuesday.

Police arrived on the scene near Hunting Park just after 2:30 a.m., responding to a call about a robbery in progress and possible shooting. Officers found Jenkins had been shot repeatedly in the back. Emergency responders at Einstein Hospital pronounced Jenkins dead.

A motive for the murder is unknown, though activists believe that Jenkins was a transgender woman played a role in the violent attack. Advocates are drawing attention to her unfortunate and untimely death online through the hashtag #SayHerName.

"We do not know at this time if this murder is potentially a hate crime; the investigation is active and ongoing with the homicide unit," the police department said in a statement.

Jenkins is at least the 20th transgender woman—and the 18th transgender person of color—to be murdered in the U.S. so far this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

A $20,000 award is being offered for information which leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Philadelphia Police Offer $20,000 for Information in Transgender Murder Investigation | U.S.