25-year-old Marcal Camero Tye was found dead in Forrest City, Arkansas on Tuesday. While the autopsy results have yet to be released, it appears somewhat obviously that Tye was shot and then dragged down the street by a car until she died.
It is currently unknown if the murder was the result of a hate crime, not that it matters much – Arkansas is one of only four states in the country that refuse to put hate crime laws on the books, and joins Mississippi in being the only two states without a Civil Rights Commission as well.
Add insult to injury murder, police and local Arkansas news outlets continue to refer to Tye as a man, even though she identified as a transgendered woman. Police have also used the derogatory word “cross-dresser” and “man dressed as a woman” in lieu of the correct terminology. Come on now. It’s hardly difficult to treat this murder victim with the dignity she deserves after being robbed of her life.
GLAAD, Meghan Stabler from HRC’s Board of Directors, GetEqual Arkanasas, and local activists contacted WREG to correct the story to reflect Marcal’s true identity. WREG quickly acted upon the advice they were given and edited the original report.
“We should at least honor Marcal in death for who she was since she did not get that respect in life,” Romo said. “We really want the media to take a look about how they report these stories.”
Since Arkansas does not a have a hate crimes law, local statistics about violence against the trans community are not available. The only public record is the description in local media, so that description must be highly accurate. That can be difficult when the police force does not even know how to describe a trans person in their report.
Are you saddened by: A) Arkansas’ refusal to institute hate crimes laws. B) The sheriff’s use of offensive terminology. C) That this woman was murdered. Or D) All of the above?