‘Say her name’: Friends hold vigil for transgender woman killed in Northeast KC

Outside the northeast Kansas City house where the body of a transgender woman was found earlier this week, dozens of people held candles and chanted her name.

“One, two, three!”

“Brooklyn Lindsey!”

“Come on now,” said a man leading the crowd. “Give love to all the voices.”

They came together four days after Kansas City police announced the death of 32-year-old Lindsey, reported by the Human Rights Campaign to be the 11th transgender person who has been violently killed this year.

According to police, Lindsey showed obvious signs of trauma to the face when she was found dead about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday on the steps of a house in the 600 block of Spruce Avenue near Independence Avenue. Police later added that she also had gunshot wounds.

No arrests and no suspect information have been announced. Police are investigating Lindsey’s death as a homicide. A police spokesman said Friday that the department was not investigating her death as a hate crime at that point.

At the candlelight vigil Saturday, community members demanded an end to the violence. A sign posted on the house where Lindsey’s body was located urged anyone with information about her death to come forward.

Friends placed colorful balloons, flowers, stuffed animals, candles and other handwritten messages around the home with the boarded-up windows.

“Forever in our heart,” a sign read. Others followed.

“RIP Brooklyn.”

“Say her name.”

Music played nearby. From a cellphone speaker came words sung by Brandy, Tamia, Gladys Knight and Chaka Khan:

“Though I’m missin’ you/I’ll find a way to get through/living without you/’cause you were my sister/my strength and my pride.

It was one of Lindsey’s favorite songs, said Korea Kelly, a case manager with the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project.

“She was joyous, she was lively,” Kelly said afterward, exchanging hugs and greeting friends. “She was someone that if you were down, (she) could make you laugh, so you were definitely going to have a good day.”

Anyone with information about Lindsey’s death is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.