Oakland PD investigates city’s 129th homicide after transgender woman fatally shot

Oakland PD investigates city’s 129th homicide after transgender woman fatally shot
Image via Screengrab

A transgender woman was fatally shot in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Friday, December 3. According to the Oakland Police Department, the woman, identified as Nikai David of Hayward, Calif., was found suffering from a gunshot wound that reportedly took place on Castro Street in West Oakland.

David was pronounced dead at the scene. While the police department insists there is no evidence to suggest the shooting was a hate crime, David's death has reignited concerns about the safety of transgender people. Speaking to KTVU, Ashlee Banks also shared her concerns about the shooting as she mourned the loss of her friend.

"Nikai was really sweet. She was a happy, fun person," Banks said. "I was really devastated when I found out, when I got the news."

She added, "I know there was some type of physical altercation that led to my sister getting shot in her head."

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In wake of Nikai's death, transgender advocates are expressing more concern about hate crimes and discrimination. According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2021 has become the deadliest year recorded for transgender homicides across the United States.

Joe Hawkins, co-founder and CEO of Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, said, "In general, people are ready to attack transgender people, just because they're transgender."

He added, "The people who kill them feel that they're not worthy. Who's gonna care? Black transgender people deserve and need the support that they have not been given."

As of Saturday, Deceember 4, no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting. However, Banks has a message for her friend's shooter. She said, "To the people who harmed her, i just hope that justice is served."

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The Oakland Police Department is asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact the law enforcement agency's Homicide Section at 510-238-3821 or its tip line at 510-238-7950.

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