Teenager Turns Himself In for Murder of Koko Da Doll in Atlanta

A teenager has been arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a Black transgender woman in Atlanta, police said. Officers responded to reports of a woman suffering from a gunshot wound at a shopping plaza on April 18. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Atlanta police announced Thursday they arrested 17-year-old Jermarcus Jernigan after “homicide detectives were able to establish probable cause” and secure warrants for murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Koko Da Doll is the name taken by a transgender woman. Doll was recently murdered April 18. As reported, “Officers responded to reports of a woman suffering from a gunshot wound at a shopping plaza near Martin Luther King Drive SW and Hamilton E. Holmes Drive on April 18. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Jernigen is facing multiple charges including “murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.” Rasheeda Williams is Koko Da Doll’s real or birth name. Atlanta Police, as has been reported, “are investigating several recent crimes that involved transgendered women.” The assertion of the police at this time is that Doll was not targeted because “she was trans.”

A relative of Doll confirmed to ABC News that it was Rasheeda Williams, 35, described as “an aspiring musician whose music was set to be featured on the Showtime drama “The Chi.” Williams, aka Koko Da Doll, was featured, also described as “starred,” in “Kokomo City,” ” a documentary about “four Black trans sex workers in Georgia and New York and the dichotomy between the Black community and the trans women.”  The documentary “won awards at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.”

Atlanta police have been investigating shootings of 3 transgender women. The Atlanta Police Department is working “to reassure members of the LGBTBQ+ community following three violent crimes involving transgender women that have taken place this year.” Details of the three violent crimes can be found here.

In a statement to FOX 5, the Atlanta Police Department added: “While these individual incidents are unrelated, we are very aware of the epidemic-level violence black and brown transgender women face in America.” The statement added:  “We understand the impact violence has on all our communities, and we understand some acts of violence bring about legitimate concerns of whether the incident was motivated by hate. We share in these concerns and our investigations include exploring that possibility.” Investigators say they have not found any indication the victims in each of the cases were targeted for being transgender or a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

 

D & B Staff

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