NCAVP mourns the death of Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, a Latinx transgender man who was found dead on a highway in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico on January 9th. A woman driving in the early morning struck Samuel’s body, thinking it was an object–upon closer inspection she discovered she had hit a dead person. Samuel had suffered multiple gunshot wounds in different parts of his body. A
Details on Samuel’s age and personal life have not yet been disclosed by media outlets, but activist orgs are actively fighting for justice for Samuel, including initially contacting the Puerto Rico Police Department to amend reports misgendering Samuel, and urging them to investigate his death as a hate crime. In a statement released by Puerto Rico-based LGBT rights org Para Tod@s, executive director Pedro Julio Serrano writes that the Justice Departments inability to identify LGBTQ people in its incident reports remains one of the community’s “most serious issues.” The police and justice department, according to Pedro, “wants to ignore ignore, make invisible and minimize the serious problem of the wave of homophobic and transphobic violence that haunts us like never before.”
An investigation is currently ongoing–Samuel’s death marks the 2nd death by violence of an LGBTQ person in 2021.
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.