Group plans vigil as police investigate deadly North Charleston shooting

VIDEO: Group plans vigil as police investigate deadly North Charleston shooting

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston detectives continue to search for clues in a deadly shooting on Saturday as an LGBTQ advocacy organization announced plans for a vigil to remember the victim.

Police responded to the area of Carner Avenue where a shooting had been reported shooting.

North Charleston Police Deputy Chief Scott Deckard confirmed Sunday the victim, who was identified by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office, is a 29-year-old transgender female named Denali Stuckey. Stuckey died at the scene, according to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office.

Deckard said detectives were meeting with Stuckey’s family again on Sunday. So far, there have been no new developments in the case.

“The North Charleston Police Department recognizes, respects, and protects the rights of all citizens regardless of race, religion, gender, or beliefs, and will continue working to ensure all citizens are treated fairly and courteously,” Deckard said in a statement.

The Alliance For Full Acceptance issued a news release announcing a vigil scheduled for Monday night at 8 p.m. Representatives from AFFA, along with Charleston Pride, We Are Family, Charleston Area Transgender Support, Charleston Black Pride, SC Equality and other community leaders are expected to attend. The vigil is being held at the Equality Hub at 1801 Reynolds Ave. in North Charleston. All allies of the transgender community are invited to attend.

“If the victim can’t speak for herself, it’s sometimes hard to know how to accurately report the situation," Chase Glenn with the Alliance for Full Acceptance said. “Generally speaking,…you know the trans community is invisible to a lot of people.”

Saturday’s incident was at least the second murder of a transgender woman in South Carolina since 2018.

Sasha Wall was found shot to death in a car in Chesterfield County in April 2018.

And right here in Charleston, a transgender woman was attacked outside of a downtown nightclub last year. A man was charged after authorities say he confronted the victim about their gender identity before assaulting them.

The attack resulted in scrutiny for the Charleston Police Department for how they handled the identification of the victim and their reporting of the attack. Charleston Police officers were then trained on how to properly handle similar cases.

“She walked her walk the way she did and she lived her life as she wished to be respected and so we should remember her as that," Vanity Reid of the Alliance For Full Acceptance said. “And we should remember that other women just like her face the same dangers and are surrounded circumstantially by the same harms.”

South Carolina is one of just five states without a hate crimes law. That means when attacks target people specifically because of things like race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, they are not prosecuted as acts of hate.

The city of Charleston has taken steps to address this gap in legislation by approving an ordinance last year to punish people for crimes motivated by bias.

Charleston City Council approved an ordinance in November 2018 that states people will be punished if they have the intent to intimidate another person because of their perceived race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability or national origin. A hate intimidation violation would be an additional offense to a crime committed. Violators could receive a fine up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

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