CNN reports on violence in Texas against Daniela Calderon Rivera and Muhlaysia Booker, two trans women of color

Since 2015, at least 16 transgender people have been killed in Texas, nearly half of them in Dallas

CNN correspondent Sara Sidner reported on the epidemic of violence against the trans community -- in particular against Black trans women -- and highlighted the stories of Daniela Calderon Rivera and the late Muhlaysia Booker, two trans women of color who were victims of gun violence in Dallas. 

In the segment, which appeared on CNN’s New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman and CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, Sidner interviewed Calderon Rivera, who was shot six times in Dallas on September 20. She survived the attack, calling it “the worst memory I will have for my entire life.” Her attacker, who admitted to shooting her for being trans, was released from jail after posting bond. She told Sidner that her “biggest fear” is that her attacker would “finish what he started.”

Calderon Rivera’s shooting follows the murder of two other trans women of color in Dallas this year, Muhlaysia Booker and Chynal Lindsey. Booker was attacked in an act described as  “mob violence” on April 12 and then  shot and killed on May 18. Chynal Lindsey was killed on June 1; police found her body floating in a lake in northeastern Dallas.

Video file

Citation From the October 10 edition of New Day with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman

SARA SIDNER (CORRESPONDENT): We spoke to Daniela Calderon Rivera. She was in the hospital recovering after being shot six times. Her attacker, she says, told her he hated transgender people, and then he followed her. She spoke to us for a couple of reasons for her first time on national television. She says she just wants people to know that she’s a human being that deserves a life. 


SIDNER: Daniela Calderon Rivera recounts the shots hitting her body. Six shots, each one riddling her with entry and exit wounds. Police say she was shot by a man who didn't know her, but she says he hated her because of who she is. 


SIDNER: Shot four times in the abdomen, the arm, the hip, she says she said her goodbyes, prayed to God, called out for her family, and closed her eyes, waiting for the end. But she survived. Police say they arrested her attacker, who confessed to shooting her because she was transgender. 

The attack against Calderon along this street is just the latest in a string of attacks and killings of transgender people here in Dallas. One of the most brutal attacks was caught on camera. 

Blow after blow, the cell phone video reveals the brute force Muhlaysia Booker endured after being involved in a fender bender in Dallas. She survived this brutality. A month later, though, her mother was mourning her death from another attack. Police made two arrests: one for the beating, another for the killing. The Human Rights Campaign says the number of transgender attacks in recent years is alarming. Booker was the 18th person identified as transgender to be killed in the U.S. this year. The majority of victims are Black. Texas leads the nation in trans murders.

Since 2015, at least 16 trans people have been murdered in Texas, and “nearly half of those deaths occurred in Dallas.” Moreover, according to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 19 trans people have been killed in the U.S. this year. Media coverage on the epidemic of violence against the trans community is generally lacking and often fails to respectfully report on trans people.