Brayla Stone. (Facebook)
Brayla Stone, a 17-year-old trans teen with a fondness for making her own original music, was found dead on 25 June 25 in Arkansas, US, in a suspected murder.
In a volley of local media reports that have slothfully misgendered her, Sherwood Police Department patrol officers responded to calls at 2:55pm about a vehicle parked off of Gap Creek Drive. The car was discovered across a walking path in the Sherwood neighborhood, police said.
Inside, officers found the body of Stone. Confusion has since swelled in the patchwork of police statements and news reports that have deadnamed Stone, stoked further by those crowdfunding to memorialise her, claiming that her family did not support her transition and an allegation from an Instagram user boasting that they were paid to kill her, Planet Transgender reported.
After Black trans girl Brayla Stone was found dead in empty car, an Instagram user claimed to have killed her for $5,000.
In an alarming exchange on an Instagram post memorialising Stone, according to various screenshots uploaded to social media, a since-deleted user account called “tapnseason” claimed to have “zipped [Stone] for $5,000”.
Her murderer boasting about her death pic.twitter.com/L254wmM8ZF
— Lauryn (@1thirty1) June 26, 2020
“Sorry that it had to come out this way,” the user alleged, “someone paid me to do it to the dude.
“[She] probably shouldn’t have been on that gay s**t, [she] would have been alive right now.”
The account earlier shared a photograph of a pile of $20 notes captioned “$5K” in red.
However, the user later sought to clarify their innocence. “I didn’t kill nobody,” they wrote in an Instagram story, “I was clout-chasing,” before adding that they are 15-years-old.
Nah the guy was just clout chasing pic.twitter.com/ABus7xJRGW
— 🎩 damn my tv broke🎩 (@mayor_satire) June 27, 2020
Calls for law enforcement and media to “say her name” have echoed online against a backdrop of a reinvigorated Black Lives Matter movement.
The protests have constellated around the death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer and the killings of two Black trans women, Dominique Fells and Riah Milton, shortly after a Black trans man, Tony McDade, was killed by the police.
For as much as LGBT+ activists have secured a roster of rights in recent years, Black trans women are killed with such harrowing frequency that the American Medical Association has declared it an epidemic.
As a result, many community leaders have sought to amplify one another in applying pressure to simply call a slain trans Black woman by her name.
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) June 27, 2020
This is just…smh. Another Black trans girl was murdered. When we said protect Black trans women—we meant our youth as well. She was only 17 and media of course used her birth name instead of her REAL name. Say her name. #BraylaStone 🕊 pic.twitter.com/MBfyOdrALu
— Ashlee Marie Preston (@AshleeMPreston) June 27, 2020
— Nicole Maines (@NicoleAMaines) June 27, 2020
A BLACK TRANS GIRL WAS MURDERED IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS. HER NAME IS BRAYLA STONE. SHE WAS 17 YEARS OLD #SAYHERNAME
The only news outlet reporting on this is currently misgendering her, do NOT share any articles containing her dead name.
— I GOT SUM TO GET OFF MY CHEST (@damexpatr) June 27, 2020
But it is a campaign Stone’s own family may not be inclined to support. Arkansas minister Lucas Delaney founded a crowdfunder for Stone on Facebook.
Countless trans rights advocates and stunned Arkansas citizens flooded the page with donations – £1,300 – to build a memorial in tribute to Stone “with her true name and pronouns”, the page stated. Delaney told Planet Transgender that throughout correspondence he has had with Stone’s mother, she only used Stone’s deadname and pronouns and refused to accept any money raised to cover funeral costs.
Moreover, FOX16 noted that, following reader calls to not deadname Stone, the outlet reached out to her family. “They have asked us to use the victim’s birth name in our reporting,” the outlet noted.