Ohio councilman demands answers in transgender woman’s murder

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An Ohio councilman spoke out on the recent murder of a transgender woman in the state. Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman said the woman had “lived a troubled life of acceptance,” in a report to NewsNet5.

Cemia Acoff, a 20-year-old transgender woman was found dead in an in a pond in Olmsted Township, Ohio. Acoff was brutally attacked and exposed from the waist-down, tied to a concrete block and stabbed several times.

“While Cemia struggled, she did not deserve to die as what is likely a hate crime. Too often we lose loved ones because of fear or hate. Violence should not be tolerated against anyone regardless of race, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation” Cimperman said.

Many are now pressing police to call the murder of the young woman a hate crime.

Almost every media outlet covering Acoff’s homicide case referred to her as a him in their report, said The New Civil Rights Movement. One outlet described her as an “it.”

Acoff, also known as ‘Ci Ci Dove’ fought for acceptance her whole life a Cleveland Councilman, Joe Cimperman said to NewsNet5. Fear and hate were the main contributor in ending this young woman’s life.

This is the third homicide of a transgender woman of color in April. Many organizations and activists are trying to push this attack to be seen as a hate crime.

“Each year, NCAVP tracks the homicides of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people in the US in which an anti-LGBTQ motive is known. However for many LGBTQ homicide victims, especially transgender women and people of color who are disproportionally affected by anti-LGBTQ violence, a motive is never determined,” NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, Chai Jindasurat said in the press release.  

“It is imperative to call attention to these incidents so that the lives of these individuals are not forgotten or overlooked and so that we can bring all resources to bear to discover what happened to them, when that is possible,” Jindasurat concluded.

The Coalition reported 30 hate-motivated homicides against LGBTQ people  in 2011. Transgender women made up 40 percent of the 30 homicides. 87 percent of the reported anti-LGBTQ murders were people of color.

In an effort to raise awareness, the NCAVP is partnering with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) and other organizations, such as BRAVO and Sunserve Services, to spread awareness and provide support.

“Enough is enough. Three unsolved homicides within one month should elicit a national outcry,” NBJC Executive Director and CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks said in the press release.

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