Sherwood police have identified the body of a 17-year-old transgender teen, Brayla Stone, after she was found dead inside of a car in Sherwood, Arkansas, on Thursday (June 25). FOX16 states that at 2:55 p.m., Sherwood police were called to a walking path off of Gap Creek Drive in Arkansas after a call was made regarding the car. When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered Stone’s body inside her car. The body was immediately taken to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for identification purposes.
After the news station reported their initial story, FOX16 began receiving multiple calls and emails asking for the outlet to refer the 17-year-old-victim as “Brayla.” However, when the station reached out to Stone’s family, they asked that Stone’s birth name, Braylon Jay-Quan Stone, be used during their coverage of the tragic incident.
Four days after her death (June 29), the Center for Artistic Revolution held a candlelight vigil in honor of the late teen. Meanwhile, others on social media turned to crowdfunding and condemned Stone’s family over the lack of support of Stone’s transition and blatant misgendering in her death.
“Brayla was someone who always held space for others to be themselves and express their identities,” the Center for Artistic Revolution said.” Despite the fact that these institutions didn’t support Brayla, it is important that we uplift her memory and dedicate ourselves to seeking justice for her. She was 17 years old, and her life was taken far too soon. We must put a stop to the violence against Black trans women. We don’t want another Black trans woman’s death to go unnoticed.”
According to BET, a Change.org petition was created to seek justice for Stone. It has already generated more than 150,000 signatures since its creation date.
“Brayla Stone is the 8th transgender person killed in the last seven days,” David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said in a statement. “Brayla Stone was seventeen years young when someone murdered her because we live in a society where it is not yet explicit that when we say BlackLivesMatter, we mean all Black lives, which includes Black trans women and girls.”
Stone’s cause of death has not yet been released by authorities. The Sherwood Police Office is now investigating the death of Brayla Stone as a homicide.