MILWAUKEE, WI – The Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is deeply saddened by the murder of Brazil Johnson. The Milwaukee Alliance stands in full solidarity with Brazil Johnson’s family, friends and those working to get justice for her.
Johnson, a 28-year old Black Trans woman, was murdered in the morning of June 15. Her body was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds near Teutonia Avenue and Garfield Avenue. Further evidence shows that the killer also mutilated Johnson’s body. Trans people are murdered at alarming rates in the U.S. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to get the exact number of murders of Trans people because, as the Milwaukee medical examiner’s office did to Johnson, the police and medical examiners often misgender them.
Brutal and coordinated attacks on Trans people are nothing new and can only be combated with organization and grassroots action. It is our duty as a community and as organizers to challenge anti-Trans legislation and empower Trans people in our own communities. Johnson’s murder was yet another example of deadly transphobia which disproportionately affects Black Trans women. If the city of Milwaukee is to continue without an investigation into her murder they will become just as guilty as Johnson’s killer.
Through our work in Milwaukee, we at the Milwaukee Alliance understand that many residents, especially those in the North and South side, have little-to-no faith in the police when it comes to their ability to bring about justice. Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) current handling of Johnson’s murder reaffirms those sentiments. MPD has a terrible track record when it comes to investigating cases of hate crimes against Black people, especially Black Trans women. Given that MPD absorbs nearly half of Milwaukee’s city budget, we demand that they conduct a thorough investigation of Johnson’s murder rather than trying to sweep it under the rug.