An Ohio citizen was arrested in relation to the brutal murder of transgender woman, Cemia Acoff, also known as “Ci Ci Dove.”
The man taken into custody, Andrey Bridges, 36-years-old, has contested no plea with a bond set at $5 million, reported PinkNews.
Bridges was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, abuse of a the corpse, and tampering with the evidence.
This is not Bridges first assault. He has served time in prison on four separate accounts and his criminal record is extensive. It includes aggravated assault, burglary, drug possession, attempted drug trafficking, and domestic violence.
Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman, who pushed for the crime to be treated as a hate crime, said the 20-year-old Acoff had “lived a troubled life of acceptance,” in a report to NewsNet5.
Acoff was found dead in an in a pond in Olmsted Township, Ohio. She 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.
Almost every media outlet who covered 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.”
Many organizations and activists have been pushing to have the tragedy labeled 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.