The director and cast of Kokomo City are in shock following the tragic death of one of the black trans women featured in the documentary. 35-year-old performing artist Rasheeda Williams was reportedly shot dead in Atlanta on Tuesday night. Atlanta police are investigating the incident, which has shocked the black trans community.
Police authorities responded to a call regarding a shooting on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW. They have not disclosed the identity of the victim yet. However, the director of Kokomo City and another actor from the documentary have identified Rasheeda Williams who went by the stage name Koko Da Doll. Authorities have not released any further information at this time.
Exploring the shooting incident that led to the death of Rasheeda Williams
According to a police statement, officers found the black trans woman shot and unconscious upon arrival at the scene. She was unresponsive and pronounced dead by the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. The police have launched a homicide investigation and are trying to establish the details surrounding the incident.
We are saddened to hear about the death of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll. We were honored to have her at the Festival this year with KOKOMO CITY, where she reminded Black trans women, "we can do anything, we can be whatever we want to be." It is a tragic loss. pic.twitter.com/Ca57LBnk8V
— SundanceFilmFestival (@sundancefest) April 20, 2023
D Smith, the director of Kokomo City, confirmed that it was Rasheeda Williams who had been shot. She called attention to the fact that this tragedy is another instance of violence against Black transgender women. Ironically, the ‘Kokomo City’ documentary talked about the danger of violence related to sex work.
The documentary portrays incidents where sex workers face gun threats from clients after they find out they are transgender. According to the Transgender Law Center, three out of four transgender sex workers have experienced sexual or partner violence at some point. However, the Atlanta police don’t know if Rasheeda Williams’ death is a result of such violence.
All details about the ‘Kokomo City’ documentary from Sundance
Kokomo City is a documentary about the lives of Koko (Rasheeda Williams) and other Black trans women who live in Atlanta and New York. They struggle to find work and often end up doing sex work to support themselves because there are few other job opportunities available to them.
Rasheeda Williams and other trans women in the movie went to the Sundance Film Festival 2023 in January for its world premiere. Director D Smith made the film independently to ensure that no one else controlled the content. Eventually, the film won two awards at the festival.
Magnolia Pictures bought the rights to the film at Sundance, and it will be released in theaters later this year in the United States. The director D Smith herself is a transgender woman who announced her transition in 2016.
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