Akhenaton Jones was sought for the June murder of Fells, a transgender Philly woman known for ‘being vibrant.’
A man suspected of murdering a transgender woman in Philadelphia was arrested on Monday in Los Angeles.
Akhenaton Jones was arrested in connection to the murder of 27-year-old Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells.
Fells, 27, was stabbed to death, and her body was dismembered in June when Philadelphia police found her on the banks of the Schuylkill River Trail.
Jones was identified as a suspect in June. However, he fled the state.
The two were known as acquaintances. No motive has been provided in the case.
“She was a person – somebody’s sister, daughter, somebody’s friend,” transgender activist Tatyana Woodard told 6ABC. “It shouldn’t matter how she identified. The person should always matter.”
According to the Human Rights Coalition, at least 29 transgender women were fatally shot or killed by other violent means.
“Transgender people – and particularly Black and Latina transgender women – are marginalized, stigmatized and criminalized in our country. They face violence every day, and they fear turning to the police for help,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Transequality.org recommends that to help stem the threat of violence against trans people, the community requires increased access to safe, affordable housing, improved police training, plus policies that protect transgender people from discrimination and increase economic opportunity.
The National Center for Transgender Equality notes that in its annual survey, which included more than 28,000 respondents, nearly half of all Black respondents – a whopping 47 percent – reported being denied equal treatment, verbally harassed and/or physically attacked in the previous year because of being transgender. Nearly one in 10, or 9 percent, were physically attacked in the past year because of being transgender.
Additionally, more than 64 percent of respondents reported being sexually assaulted.
Fells’ friend described the freelance fashion designer as always “having fun and being vibrant.”
“She was a person who could light up a room even when she was being quiet,” her father told NBC10. “The one thing that stood out about her is she did her own thing with confidence, which as a family we all embraced.”
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