Vigil held for transgender woman killed on Milwaukee's north side

NOW: Vigil held for transgender woman killed on Milwaukee’s north side

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Two weeks after the first black transgender woman was killed in more than a decade in Milwaukee, loved ones were out celebrating her life, and vowing to find her killer.

The black transgender community spoke out at the vigil saying "I'm angry". They're hurting, whether they knew Brazil Johnson personally or not. Her brutal murder seen as an attack on the entire community here.

There were hugs and tears as 28-year-old Brazil Johnson, was remembered.

"My poor heart is broken. I miss her so much," said friend Latonya Martin.

Family and friends surrounding each other now, with love at the vigil, held near Teutonia and Garfield. It's the same place where their beloved Brazil was met with horrible hatred on June 15.

"She's my best friend and I loved her. They took her from me. She's the only person I could talk to because she didn't judge me and I didn't judge her," said Martin.

"This ain't a moment to fall. This is a moment to stand up and represent this girl because no matter what, she's just like me," said Ananna "Ladi London."

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 50 transgender people were murdered last year in the U.S.

"Even though you're scaring me and scaring some of the other girls, we might be frightened but guess what, we're still gonna be out here and we're gonna live and we're gonna exist whether you're ashamed of us or not, whether you hate us or not," said London.

Milwaukee police have not yet identified Brazil Johnson's killer.

"I'm just very heartbroken, speechless and can't wait until justice surfaces," said sister Ocean Gildart.

Mayor Johnson was unable to attend, but sent a statement, saying he was there in spirit and wants to see an end to hate, discrimination and ignorance.

"I just want to encourage people if you're out there and you have family, love your family because you never know when they could be snatched from you," said mother Bernitha Gildart.

Alderwoman Jocasta Zamarippa is holding a news conference tomorrow afternoon, on June 30, at city hall in the hopes of generating leads to solve this case.



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