U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee Statement on Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance – Department of Justice

This week, the Human Rights Campaign announced in its annual report that at least 32 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the United States in 2022 – “at least” because transgender victims may be misgendered in news or police reports, and deaths of transgender people often go unreported. The report described the victims as “overwhelmingly Black, under 35 and killed with a firearm” with trans women disproportionately at risk.
Transgender rights are human rights, and no one should ever be a target of a crime or harassment because of who they are. This week marks Transgender Awareness Week, and this Sunday is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a worldwide observance to remember and honor transgender victims of violence. It is an opportunity to bring attention to the threats and harassment transgender people face – including here in Maine – and to acknowledge those who have been victimized simply for being who they are.
I am aware that there is a feeling of mistrust among transgender Mainers towards law enforcement, and I understand and acknowledge the root causes of that wariness. I want all Mainers to feel seen, heard and respected in their interactions with law enforcement and to feel safe to report when they are the victim of crime. I am committed to doing what I can in my role as U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, and I welcome the opportunity to work with LGBTQ+ leaders in Maine to build that trust.
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