Jayne Thompson, a trans woman shot dead by a Colorado State Trooper during an apparent mental health crisis, was misgendered by the officer involved, the coroner, the district attorney and the media.
Thompson was killed on May 9 in an incident at the side of the road in Mesa County, Colorado — but her gender identity was obscured at the time, with many reports of the incident deadnaming and misgendering her.
According to an incident report, Thompson — a white woman — had been standing at the roadside motionless for several hours when Colorado State Patrol trooper Jason Wade approached. She did not appear to be doing anything illegal, and remained silent throughout the incident.
The state trooper — who misgenders Thompson repeatedly in extracts from an interview with investigators — claimed that she met him with a “1000-yard stare” and ignored his instructions.
Wade was equipped with a Taser, but the former marine opted to instead draw a handgun to aim at Thompson after she produced a slim knife from her waistband while continuing to remain motionless.
Ignoring instructions to drop the knife and “get on the ground”, the woman then ran in an arc around Wade, into the road.
The officer says she then “planted, turned and took several steps towards” him with the knife “extended out”, at which point he shot her “um, say three, possibly four times”.
District attorney Daniel Rubinstein opted not to file any charges against Wade in connection with the incident, ruling that his actions “fall squarely within the use of deadly force in self-defence justification”.
‘Jayne Thompson needed help, not to be killed’.
Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, said: “In reading about the fatal shooting of Jayne Thompson by a Colorado state trooper, two things become clear.
“First, it is appalling that it took the media over a month to correctly identify Jayne with her correct name and pronouns.
“Transgender and gender non-conforming people deserve dignity in death as well as life.
“Secondly, it is clear that Jayne was in crisis when she was approached by Colorado State Patrol. When members of the community need help, the expectation is to protect and serve and not to be killed.”
Tony McDade, a Black trans man, was shot dead by a white police officer in north Florida on May 27.