A teenager in Athens, Georgia, was killed this weekend following a feud between two transgender groups, according to a report.
“Rayquann Deonte Jernigan, 17, who was known to friends by the chosen name of Ava Le’Ray Barrin, was killed Sunday morning by a single gunshot fired by 21-year-old Jalen Breon Brown in the parking lot of Riverview Apartments on College Avenue,” reported the Athens Banner-Herald. “The initial argument that started the feud was not even between Brown and Jernigan, who had not yet legally changed his name.”
Police Capt. Jerry Saulters claimed the incident “started out as an argument between friends of the suspect and victim,” before Brown allegedly killed Barrin with a single shot.
Despite the fact that Brown, who was charged with murder and aggravated assault, claimed the shot was in self-defense, Capt. Saulters refutes this.
“It did not hold up because he fired towards the victim prior to the fight, and a fight does not constitute deadly force,” Saulters declared.
In a statement, Black Transwomen Inc. expressed sadness over the incident, before criticizing media outlets for “misgendering” Barrin.
“Black Transwomen, Inc. is saddened that we must comment on the death of another trans woman of color in Ava Le’Ray Barrin,” the group proclaimed. “What saddens and infuriates us as an organization that seeks to represent and empower Black trans women is that Ava was just 17 years old and hadn’t even had a chance to follow her dreams yet. And as usual, the Atlanta and Athens, GA media outlets reporting on the story once again played into the infuriating pattern of disrespectfully misgendering a Black trans woman in death.”
“Ava has become not only the 14th trans woman murdered in the US in 2017, she unfortunately is now the youngest one killed this year. She is also the 12th African American trans person killed this year,” they continued. “BTWI, our brother organization Black Transmen, Inc, the BTMI Atlanta Chapter, the Black Trans International Pageantry System, and Black Trans Advocacy joins your family and all who loved you in expressing our condolences for your far too soon death. Rest in power and peace, Ava.”