Trans beating victim murdered in Memphis

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The shooting death of a transgendered woman won’t stop a planned lawsuit over her February beating at the hands of police, one of her attorneys said Monday.

Duanna Johnson, 43, was shot in the head at Hollywood and Staten in North Memphis late Sunday. She died at the scene.

Although the Memphis Police Department identified the victim as Dwayne Johnson, attorney Murray Wells said the victim was the person he knew as Duanna.

“I have what I consider to be extremely reliable information that it’s her,” he said.

Johnson was beaten in February in the booking area at 201 Poplar after an arrest on a prostitution charge.

Memphis police officers Bridges McRae and James Swain were fired after the incident, which became public when Johnson’s attorneys released a video of the beating to local media.

Johnson planned to file a lawsuit against the officers and the department, Wells said, and those plans will go forward on behalf of her estate.

“There’ll be just a couple of legal hoops we’ll have to jump through,” he said. “The case is, I think, just as strong as it was before, especially with the video.”

Wells said he’d talked with Johnson Sunday, and that she’d been assisting the federal government with its investigation of the case.

Johnson didn’t have any family in Memphis, but Wells said he was in contact Monday with her mother in Kenosha, Wis.

Read the full story from the Commercial Appeal.


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