Earline Budd, Executive Director of Empowering the Transgender Community, released the following statement following the arrest of a man believed to be responsible for the death of Zoe Spears.
On July 18th LBGTQ community and others received information that Prince Georges County police and detectives had apprehended a suspect in the June 13th murder of Zoe Spears. They showed a large poster of 33 year old Gerardo Thomas who was arrested and said to be a resident of Baltimore Maryland. We would like to first say thank you to the Prince Georges County Police and Detectives for their hard work in bringing closure to Zoe’s murder. But our community still will not and cannot rest until the murderer of Ashanti Carmon is apprehended also. Both of these women were young and did not deserve to lose their lives this way, now leaving a void in transgender community. We continue to feel strongly that it is not by coincidence that these two women were killed in Fairmont Heights within 90 days apart and only 5 blocks apart in Fairmont Heights Maryland.
The Transgender community will continue to speak out for justice in cases like this. We hope that the police uncover some surveillance in the area where our sister and friend Ashanti Carmon was killed too. We are happy that both Prince Georges County and the District of Columbia officials are working to assure that there are resources in place to help transgender women who find themselves in survival mode and seeking help.
On Sunday July 21st at 3:00 pm, Rev. Elder Akousa McCray will be doing a “Special Alter Call and Prayer”, as we thank God for this case being solved. This service will be open to the community and at MCCDC located at 474 Ridge Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
Today we still are asking the transgender community “PLEASE STAY OFF OF EASTERN AVENUE”, and seek resources from transgender community advocates and leaders.