Black, Transgender Woman Pulled From Dallas' White Rock Lake Died of Homicidal Violence, Police Say - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Black, Transgender Woman Pulled From Dallas' White Rock Lake Died of Homicidal Violence, Police Say

Dallas police say woman died of homicidal violence; no evidence of serial killer targeting black, trans women in Dallas, chief says

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    FBI Joining Case of Dallas Transgender Woman's Homicide

    Dallas police say they have asked the FBI to assist in the investigation of the suspicious death of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey. (Published Tuesday, June 4, 2019)

    Dallas police say a black, transgender woman whose body was pulled from White Rock Lake Saturday died of obvious homicidal violence.

    Dallas police said a passerby called them at about 5:45 p.m. after spotting the woman's body in the lake.

    On Monday morning, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the person was a black transgender woman who was later identified as 26-year-old Jason Haslett. Dallas police confirmed Monday Chynal Lindsey was the name Haslett used while living as a transgender woman.

    Lindsey's cause of death has not yet been revealed, however Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said during a news conference Monday afternoon that police are investigating her death as a homicide and that there were obvious signs of homicidal violence.

    Black, Trans Woman Found in White Rock Lake a Homicide: PDBlack, Trans Woman Found in White Rock Lake a Homicide: PD

    Dallas police say a black, transgender woman whose body was pulled from White Rock Lake Saturday died of obvious homicidal violence.

    (Published Monday, June 3, 2019)

    Dallas Chief on Investigation Into Chynal Lindsey's DeathDallas Chief on Investigation Into Chynal Lindsey's Death

    Dallas Chief of Police U. Renee Hall said the death of Chynal Lindsey was being investigated as a homicide but that police have yet to connect her murder those of other black, transgender women in the city.

    (Published Monday, June 3, 2019)

    Hall did not elaborate on Lindsey's cause of death but did say they have asked the FBI to assist in the investigation.

    "We are concerned. We are actively and aggressively investigating this case and we have reached out to our federal partners to assist us in these efforts," Hall said Monday.

    Hall said investigators would like to talk with anyone she may have last had contact with.

    "We are asking for our community's assistance in this tragic event," Hall said. "If you have any information, relative to where she was last seen, who she left with, who she frequently had contact with, we're asking that you would contact the Dallas Police Department. The investigator is Erica King, 214-671-3684."

    The body of Chynal Lindsey, left, a black, transgender female, was found in White Rock Lake Saturday, June 1, 2019. Lindsey's family has requested that we show photos of Lindsey as both a transgender woman and with her birth name of Jason Haslett, right.
    Photo credit: NBC 5 News

    Lindsey's body was found less than two weeks after the murder of Muhlaysia Booker, also a black trans woman, and an announcement from Dallas police that they were working to see if there was a link between the attacks on black trans women in Dallas -- two of which were fatal.

    The first happened in October of 2018 when 29-year-old Brittany White was found fatally shot in a vehicle parked in the 7100 block of Gayglen Drive, near South Jim Miller Road, in southeast Dallas, according to our media partners at The Dallas Morning News. The second happened in April 2019 when a transgender woman was stabbed multiple times near the intersection of Spring Avenue and Lagow Street; the woman survived the attack. The third happened in May 2019 when Muhlaysia Booker was found shot to death just about three miles from the same intersection where the second crime happened.

    Jazmine, who said she came out as transgender at age 19, said she quickly found herself working in the sex industry.

    Fear of violence is what got her out.

    "That scares me. That scares me a lot," she said.

    She had a message for other transgender women.

    "Always have your location known, text people where you're going. If you're going with somebody, a guy friend, send a picture," Jazmine said.

    When asked if police were concerned there may be a serial killer at work targeting black, transgender women in the city, Hall said evidence did not yet suggest such a scenario. However, police have said they are looking at an unsolved case from 2015, as well as the other more recent cases, to see if there are any similarities. Police said last month they have not found a definite link among the attacks.

    Investigators are currently working to determine if any of the crimes should be considered hate crimes.

    While Hall said investigators were still trying to determine if the crimes were connected, activists said socioeconomic challenges often put black trans women at a greater risk.

    "We are really on the forefront of making sure to distinguish black and trans, because, again, the experience across town is very different from the experience over here," said Kirk Myers of Abounding Prosperity.

    Jazmine said the request for black trans women is simple. Respect.

    "I'm just asking to respect me, and don't bother me in my everyday life if I'm not messing with you or doing anything," she said.

    Three other black trans women have been killed in the United States this year.

    Lindsey, NBC 5 has learned, most recently lived in Arlington but was originally from Chicago. She had an active warrant out of Dallas County, under the name Haslett, for a felony probation violation and was on deferred adjudicated probation for drug possession since July 2018.

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