Airport workers’ union hosted memorials
College Park, Georgia, police continue to investigate the death of Tee Tee Dangerfield, 32, an Atlanta transgender woman murdered on July 31.
On Aug. 14, police released surveillance videos showing Dangerfield entering the 50 Yard Line sports bar just after 1 a.m. on July 31, where she was meeting a friend for drinks. A second video shows her leaving alone just after 3 a.m. Just 90 minutes later, Dangerfield was found shot in her car, five miles away at the South Hampton Estates apartment complex. She had multiple gunshot wounds.
Major Lance Patterson told Georgia Voice that College Park Fire Rescue took Dangerfield to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Police continue to seek a motive in the murder and haven’t ruled out that it had to do with Dangerfield’s gender identity. There are no suspects at this time.
“Detectives are out there right now following up on leads that have been coming in since then,” Patterson said.
The incident occurred just two days after the Transgender Equality March in Midtown, which followed President Donald Trump’s July 26 tweets effectively barring trans service members from serving in the US military. Dangerfield reportedly participated in that march.
Dangerfield was the 16th known transgender person killed so far in the US this year. The majority of these victims were women of color, as Dangerfield was. She was the second Georgia transwoman to be murdered in barely a month: 17-year-old Ava Le’Ray Barrin, also of Atlanta, was murdered in Athens during an argument with another transwoman, who has since been charged with the crime.
August 18, 2017
UNITE HERE Local 23, the union Dangerfield was a member of, hosted a memorial at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Aug. 11. Dangerfield was a server at the airport.
“We are horrified and saddened [at] the unconscionable killing of our sister Tee Tee. While we mourn a vibrant life taken much too soon, we are also angry. Angry that transphobia and hate continue to fester in the United States, where all individuals have the right to live as whomever they are,” the union’s event page reads. “We will honor Tee Tee’s memory by uplifting the voices of our trans communities, fighting for basic liberties for our union members across the country and by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those working to ensure that there will never be another senseless killing.”
Local 23 was founded in 2009 and represents approximately 4,000 airport workers in 10 cities nationwide. Since then, the organization grew to nearly 16,000 members, including food service workers at universities and museums, airport concessions, hotel and parking attendants. The union is a branch of the national UNITE HERE, which started in 2004 as the union of workers in North America’s hotel gaming, restaurant, food service, laundry and textile industries, ac-
A second memorial took place on Aug. 12, organized by Local 23, Solutions Not Punishment Coalition, Atlanta Jobs with Justice and Southerners On New Ground.
“She was beloved in the Atlanta community, friend to many of our members and a beautiful person grounded in spirit and rooted in unapologetically living her truth, while loving those fiercely [living] theirs,” that event page read.
Local 23 also issued a statement on its website regarding Dangerfield’s murder.
“Tee Tee was not only a skilled server whose warm and friendly service led some passengers to seek her out specifically when they flew out of or through ATL — she was also a leader in her union, seeking to become ‘the best shop steward our union had ever seen,’” the statement says. “While we mourn the fact that her life was taken so soon and so violently, we are also angry. Angry that transphobia and hate continue to manifest in our communities, where all individuals have the right to live their lives as whomever they are.”
The Dangerfield family launched a GoFundMe account to raise money for their loved one’s expenses and burial.
“The Dangerfield family would like to thank everyone who has expressed their condolences — and blessed us with their prayers during this extremely difficult time. Our family never thought we would have to bury our loved one — unexpectedly,” the fundraising page reads. “We want you to know your love and support has meant everything to our family. We also want you to know that Tee Tee was a prideful transgendered woman and happily supported her community. … For all those who [are] a part of the LGBT community, in transition, scared of people’s perceptions, know that Tee Tee would say — ‘Be fabulous, honey!’”
By DALLAS ANNE DUNCAN
If you have any information about Dangerfield’s murder, police ask you to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.