/  03.26.2022

The family of 33-year-old transgender woman, Tommie Whetstone, also known as Tatiana Labelle, reported her missing — five days later she was found dead.

Her body was recovered from a garbage can in an alley located in a neighborhood of Chicago known as East Chatham on March 18.

Reports from the Cook County Medical Examiner‘s office state that Labelle’s cause of death was due to “multiple injuries due to assault,” therefore, ruled as a homicide.

Labelle’s sister Shameika Thomas spoke with WLS-TV saying, “It is heartbreaking for someone to beat her to death and throw her in the trash like she was garbage.” Thomas then added, “I loved my sister, whether she was transgender or not, and I would like for me and my family to have justice.”

An unidentified resident of the area told WLS-TV, that they made the gruesome discovery, “after the garbage people pulled it up and the garbage flipped over, and everything fell out.”

The Chicago Police Department did reveal that they are in possession of surveillance footage from the area, however, at this time there are no suspects in connection to Labelle’s death.

Iggy Ladden, who is the Chicago Therapy Collective Director, believes that Labelle — known affectionately to friends and family as “Tee Tee” — is the seventh transgender person to be murdered this year.

Laden went on to say, “Trans women in general, especially Black trans women, are treated as disposable in this society and it is nauseating to think about what happened to Tee Tee.”

Laden continued, “Black women in general, certainly Black trans women, go missing and there is not enough done. There are not enough police resources. There is not enough community response or political power weighing in.”

In addition to Labelle’s death, Black trans activist Elise Malary’s body was discovered in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, just days before the discovery of Labelle’s body.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, over 50 transgender or gender non-conforming people were murdered in 2021 alone.


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