Recent breakthroughs in a decade-long cold case in Fayetteville is raising the issue of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community.
Police say the victim, a 22-year-old transgender person identified by their government name as Terrance Plummer, Jr. but also known as Kinomie, was stabbed several times in a house.
The suspect, former Fort Bragg soldier Joshua Richardson, 41, was finally identified and arrested in Texas last month.
"I can't say that (the Fayetteville police) didn't put forth enough effort, but I can say that there is a trend that more of cases that involve people of color and especially Black queer or trans individuals do have much longer periods of time before they're solved," said Katrinna Marsden, the president of Fayetteville Pride.
Marsden says there haven't been any known, recent cases of murders against LGBTQ+ people in the Cumberland County area. However, she says the Rhew Street case represents the fears and persecution the community is still grappling with.
"Last year there were almost 300 laws or policies that were proposed in 36 states. And 86% of those were anti-trans and especially anti-trans youth. And that we are on track to beat that this year already for the amount of laws and stuff that has been proposed."
Marsden says that since last year, there has also been more pushback and protests to Fayetteville Pride events. The intolerance has prompted members of the organization to be more vocal about their safety concerns.
"We need to hear from more officials, more city officials, more county officials that they are affirming, they are supportive," Marsden said. She acknowledges the LGBTQ+ community has received proclamations from the city and county commissioners, yet calls for more to be done. "I think it just needs to be continuing. There needs to be not just talk, but also action."
Richardson is facing multiple first-degree murder charges.
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