#Justice4Kim and TLGBQ Prison reform now!

TW: trans death FreeState Justice REFORM NOW Posted by Baltimore Safe Haven on Monday, March 15, 2021 Kim Wirtz, a Black trans woman living in Baltimore City, was arrested and...
TW: trans death

FreeState Justice REFORM NOW

Posted by Baltimore Safe Haven on Monday, March 15, 2021

Kim Wirtz, a Black trans woman living in Baltimore City, was arrested and detained in a male cell of Baltimore Central Booking, a state-run facility under the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). Within a few days, she was found unresponsive just after midnight on February 25th and later pronounced dead at Mercy hospital. More information on this tragedy can be found here: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-jail-death-20210316-mqt5ri5li5eufhqwy3so7mye7a-story.html.
It has been four weeks, and the family has yet to be given any information on Kim’s death from DPSCS, Mercy Hospital, or other public officials. This week, they were finally able to secure representation and are asking for advocates to support their call in pressuring our public officials for answers.

The incident has raised questions regarding the treatment of transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (TLGBQ folks) detained and the systemic silence around issues that disproportionately impact trans women of color. There are a few actions we could use your support on:

  1. Organizational Sign-on Letter to DPSCS. Most immediately, we are looking for organizations to sign on to a letter to Secretary Green of DPSCS, asking for a full incident review to be shared with the family, as well as public disclosure of their current TLGBQ policies. The full letter can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HY6CijM-3ITKakAldJcRZAo_q72Dlde5sn_ohb0B_lE/edit?usp=sharing. If your organization is interested in signing on in support, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/b9wKUFp61tyKRQZw5 . Please sign-on by Monday, March 29th. 
  2. Individual advocacy. No one should die while in the State’s custody without a timely explanation to the family, regardless of their income or ability to retain an attorney. Additionally, trans women of color continue to face disproportionate violence and criminalization. The Baltimore City Mayor’s Office, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney Office, and the Pride Center of Maryland were made aware of the incident on March 2nd and have yet to release statements on this tragedy or publically express support for trans women in the city. We look to our public officials, the people’s attorney, and those in the position of power to advocate for all Baltimoreans, including Kim Wirtz’s family. We encourage you to contact those in positions of power and ask them publicly demonstrate their support for Kim, her family, and the transgender community of Baltimore. We want public commitments to address the issues and to meet the needs of trans women of color in Baltimore City.
    1. Contact Brandon Scott at the Mayor’s Office: https://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/node/28
      Phone: 410-396-4900.
      Email: mayor@baltimorecity.gov
    2. Contact Marilyn Mosby at the State Attorney’s Office: https://www.stattorney.org/office/contact#
      Phone: (443) 984-6000
      Email:  mmosby@stattorney.org
    3. Contact Merrick Moses, Board President of the Pride Center of Baltimore:
      Phone: (410) 777-8145
      Email: info@pridecentermd.org
  3. Show up outside Baltimore City Hall for Trans Day of Visibility. Baltimore Safe Haven is organizing a rally outside Baltimore City Hall on Wednesday, March 31st @ 3 PM in honor of International Day of Trans Visibility. Kim Wirtz and our incarcerated siblings deserve visibility–join us in raising awareness of the disproportionate criminalization, incarceration, and victimization that the trans community experiences. Information can be found here: facebook.com/events/763459750968590.
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