NCAVP mourns the death of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman in Portland, OR

NCAVP mourns the death of Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, aka Rocky Rhones, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman who was killed in Portland on July 28th. Aja was attending a vigil for another homicide victim, Tyrell Penney, a Black man who was fatally shot earlier in the week, also in Portland.

In a GoFundMe set up for Aja, the family writes that they are “devastated,” and on Facebook a friend calls her death a “great loss.” Despite multiple witnesses, police say they do not have any leads, claiming that vigil attendees were “hostile” and “uncooperative.”

Anyone with information regarding Aja’s murder is encouraged to contact Detective Brad Clifton at 503.823.0696, Brad.Clifton@portlandoregon.gov, or Detective Mike Greenlee at 503.823.0871, Michael.Greenlee@portlandoregon.gov.

NCAVP stands in solidarity with Black trans women, and we know that it is always hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. We know this can be even more painful when there continues to be an unchecked epidemic of homicides of Black trans women, as police violence is escalating against Black and brown people, and our nation continues to be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights long standing healthcare disparities for Black and brown communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.