South Carolina

Black transgender woman shot to death was 3rd killed in SC since 2018, advocates say


Police found the body of Denali Berries Stuckey shot dead near a road in North Charleston, South Carolina, early Saturday morning, according to multiple reports.

Stuckey identified as a transgender woman, WCBD reports. Her death is being investigated as a murder, according to the station.

“Denali is the third known black trans woman to have been murdered in South Carolina since 2018,” said Chase Glenn, executive director for The Alliance For Full Acceptance in North Charleston.

“While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years,” he said in a statement.

Stuckey is the 12th black transgender woman to be killed in the United States this year, according to Out Magazine.

Out Magazine reports Stuckey, 29, was a Charleston native.

She was found just after 4 a.m. Saturday when police got “a report of a body laying off of the roadway,” WCIV reports.

The area where officers found Stuckey is largely industrial with some residential area and a fire station and school nearby.

South Carolina is one of five states in the United States that does not have hate crime laws, WCSC reports.

The Alliance planned to hold a vigil for Stuckey Monday night, according to an event posted on Facebook.

“As is too often the case, Denali has been misgendered (using pronouns that are not congruent with how a transgender person self-identifies) and dead-named (calling a transgender person by their former name and not the name they chose for themselves) in both police and media reports. Friends of Denali confirm that she identified as transgender and used feminine pronouns,” the Alliance said.

“We want to honor and memorize Denali as she identified herself and lived her life,” the group said.

According to WCIV, “Deputy Coroner Kimberly Rhoton had identified the victim as 29-year-old Derrick Stuckey of Charleston.”

“In this moment, we are focused on our responsibility to honor and memorialize Denali as she chose to identify herself, while raising much-needed awareness among the general public about the violence perpetrated against the transgender community— and more specifically trans women of color,” Glenn said in a statement.

“We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered,” he said.

“She is one of at least 12 transgender women to have died by violent means this year alone. This violence must cease. #SayHerName,” The Human Rights Campaign tweeted.

The HRC said all 12 transgender people killed this year were black women.

Of the three black trans women killed in South Carolina since the beginning of 2018, the first was Sasha Wall, 29. She was found shot to death in her car in April 2018 in Chesterfield County, near the border with North Carolina, WCSC reports.

Five months later, another black transgender woman, Regina Denise Brown, was beaten to death and her house was set on fire in Orangeburg, according to The Orangeburg Times and Democrat.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.