Police are seeking suspects and a motive in the slaying of transgender woman Denali Berries Stuckey, who was found shot to death by a South Carolina roadside on Saturday.
Stuckey was the 12th African-American transgender woman to be killed this year nationwide, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group.
LGBTQ advocates, allies and friends of Stuckey gathered Monday in North Charleston, where she was murdered, to pay tribute and mourn the loss of someone who they said lived life unapologetically.
“She was a free spirit. She was very outspoken,” family friend Ron’Rico Judon told ABC News. “If you didn’t like the fact that she was trans, she would give you a piece of her mind.”
Others remembered a loving person whose smile “would light up a room,” Judon told Charleston TV station WCSC.
“She was always a nurturing person. A very sweet person. Any anniversary, any birthday, event, anything representing or celebrating you, she was always there,” Stuckey’s friend Mercdeas Arline told WCSC.
“I feel some type of way because I know she’s not going to be here no more, and I won’t be able to hear her laugh,” said Arline. “And, she had this distinctive laugh that I swear keeps playing in my head.”
“I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members,” said Alliance for Full Acceptance Executive Director Chase Glenn in a statement, noting that Stuckey was the third transgender woman killed in South Carolina alone since 2018.
North Charleston police received a call around 4:05 a.m. Saturday for a possible accident between a vehicle and a pedestrian, WCSC reported.
Police arrived to find Stuckey dead of a gunshot wound on the shoulder of the road, which runs through a mixed-use neighborhood with homes on one side and industrial buildings on the other.
“The motives of the death of Denali Berries Stuckey are still being investigated, but we hope that through this tragic act, greater awareness is gained of the continuing discrimination and harassment of the LGBTQ community, and hope that one day, our society will achieve true full acceptance of all,” North Charleston city spokesman Ryan Johnson said in a statement quoted by WCSC.
“As with all crimes within the community, NCPD’s goal remains to quickly and judiciously find the perpetrator(s), determine a motive, and punish according to the law.”
The slayings of transgender women are not isolated incidents, said Glenn.
“While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years,” Glenn said in his statement.
“We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”
9-year-old genius to graduate university
(CNN) – A child prodigy from Belgium is on course to gain a bachelor’s degree at the tender age of 9.
Laurent Simons is studying electrical engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) — a tough course even for students of an average graduate age.
Described by staff as “simply extraordinary,” Laurent is on course to finish his degree in December.
He then plans to embark on a PhD program in electrical engineering while also studying for a medicine degree, his father told CNN.
His parents, Lydia and Alexander Simons, said they thought Laurent’s grandparents were exaggerating when they said he had a gift, but his teachers soon concurred.
“They noticed something very special about Laurent,” said Lydia.
Laurent was given test after test as teachers tried to work out the extent of his talents. “They told us he is like a sponge,” said Alexander.
While Laurent comes from a family of doctors, his parents have so far not received any explanation as to why their child prodigy is capable of learning so quickly.
But Lydia has her own theory.
“I ate a lot of fish during the pregnancy,” she joked.
The TUE has allowed Laurent to complete his course faster than other students.
“That is not unusual,” said Sjoerd Hulshof, education director of the TUE bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, in a statement.
“Special students that have good reasons for doing so can arrange an adjusted schedule. In much the same way we help students who participate in top sport.”
Hulshof said Laurent is “simply extraordinary” and praised the youngster.
“Laurent is the fastest student we have ever had here,” he said. “Not only is he hyper intelligent but also a very sympathetic boy.”
Laurent told CNN his favorite subject is electrical engineering and he’s also “going to study a bit of medicine.”
His progress has not gone unnoticed and he is already being sought out by prestigious universities around the world, although Laurent’s family wouldn’t be drawn on naming which of them he is considering for his PhD.
“The absorption of information is no problem for Laurent,” said his father.
“I think the focus will be on research and applying the knowledge to discover new things.”
While Laurent is evidently able to learn faster than most, his parents are being careful to let him enjoy himself too.
“We don’t want him to get too serious. He does whatever he likes,” said Alexander. “We need to find a balance between being a child and his talents.”
Laurent said he enjoys playing with his dog Sammy and playing on his phone, like many young people.
However, unlike most 9-year-olds, he has already worked out what he wants to do with his life: develop artificial organs.
In the meantime, Laurent has to finish his bachelor’s degree and choose which academic institution will play host to the next stage in his remarkable journey.
Before that, he plans on taking a vacation to Japan for an undoubtedly well-deserved break.
New award to honor arts and activism named after Lena Horne
Gang members slam BMW into rival and his 8-year-old son in Harlem
Two gangbangers aimed their BMW like a missile at a father and his 8-year-old son on a Harlem sidewalk in a horrifying incident captured by video distributed by police Thursday.
The BMW — driven by a man police believe is a member of the Gorilla Stone Bloods Gang — was zeroed in on the father, a rival gang member, said cops.
Around 3:45 p.m. Nov. 6, the boy and his father were walking on W. 112th St. by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. when the BMW jumped the sidewalk and slammed into them both, said cops.
🚨WANTED for ASSAULT: on 11/6 at approx 3:43 PM in front of 128 West 112th St in Manhattan, a 32 yr old male was walking with his 8 yr old son when a white BMW jumped the curb & hit the father & son. The driver then got out and slashed the father. Call @NYPDTips with any info. pic.twitter.com/cwd79rcM4c
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) November 15, 2019
Father and son were both knocked through a gate.
The BMW driver then backed up — and its driver and passenger, also believed to be a gang member, jumped out of the car and ran toward the father and the son.
One of the attackers slashed the father, identified by sources as 32-year-old Brian McIntosh, who’s served prison time for robbery and bail jumping.
McIntosh and his son went to Harlem Hospital. Miraculously, the boy escaped serious harm.
McIntosh was so adamant about refusing to help police catch his attackers that the young boy’s mother had to file a police report alleging he was the victim of a crime, police sources said.
Cops released video of the attack, and ask anyone with information about the suspects to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.
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