Police have arrested the man they believe to be involved in the murder of Muhlaysia Booker, a trans woman whose shooting death reverberated across social media and reminded everyone the need to raise awareness regarding the violence Black trans women are routinely subjected to.
On Wednesday officer took Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, into custody and charged him with three counts of homicide, according to CBS News. Police believe that Lyles is also connected to the murder of , 26, another trans woman whose body was pulled from White Rock Lake on June 1.
“During the investigation of two other homicides, detectives realized Lyles drove the same type of car that is believed to have picked upon May 18, 2019,” said Geron. “We don’t know the motive for murder at this point.”
Booker’s death spurred national conversation as she was targeted beforehand during a brutal attack in April which was caught on video. A mob of men physically assaulted her and hurled transphobic insults at her after she was involved in a minor car accident.
Edward Thomas, the man arrested and charged with Booker’s assault is out of jail but police say that he is not connected to her murder. After her attack, Booker spoke out regarding the fact that her life was at stake on a daily basis.
“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the city of Dallas,” Booker said. “This time, I can stand before you,” she added. “Whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”
Weeks later she was found shot to death in May.
Booker’s cousin Quanjasmine Baccus told CBS News that Booker often struggled because she was so ostracized for living in her full humanity.
“Everywhere we go she was picked — she was picked on because she is transgender,” Baccus said.