College Park police have made an arrest in the murder of Tee Tee Dangerfield, a transgender woman found shot in her car in the South Hampton Estates apartment complex in the early morning hours of July 31.
Investigators and detectives secured an arrest warrant for Tyrone Anthony Kemp, 26, on Tuesday, located him and arrested him without incident at his work at a Union City car dealership. College Park police tell Georgia Voice that Kemp was processed at their headquarters just after 9 p.m. Tuesday and that he has been charged with murder.
Major Lance Patterson told Georgia Voice late Tuesday that Kemp’s prior record was “minimal” and involved only traffic citations and misdemeanors. Patterson said a motive for the murder has not been established and that Kemp has not confessed.
Dangerfield, 32, was the 16th known transgender person killed so far in the US this year, the vast majority of which were transwomen of color, as Dangerfield was.
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 Patterson told Georgia Voice that College Park Fire Rescue took Dangerfield to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
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.
Airport workers’ union hosts memorial
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, according to its Facebook page. Nationally, UNITE HERE represents more than a quarter-million workers in the US and Canada.
‘She was beloved in the Atlanta community’
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. Just over $5,400 of the $10,000 goal had been raised as of Aug. 22.
“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!’”