Police have charged Detroit man Qasim Raqib with the murder and mutilation of 19-year-old Detroit trans woman Shelley Hilliard,alleging he burned and dismembered her body to the point where she was identifiable only by the cherry tattoo on her upper right arm.
Many LGBT bloggers figured transphobia was the motivation behind the grisly murder, but that appears not to be the case, at least not entirely.
New information points to Hilliard being an informant for the Madison Heights Police, and WJBK reports that she may have been the source behind a drug sting that resulted in the arrest of Raqib.
The story says a cell phone linked to Raqib was the phone used to lure Hilliard to the location she was last seen… The cell phone was traced back to Raqib. He was arrested after police searched his Detroit home on Cedarhurst. Cadaver dogs picked up traces of human remains in the house and his Ford Expedition he just put into his girlfriend’s name. Investigators believe that’s where Hilliard was killed, but her body dismembered and burned in a house not far away that was torched that same night.
Raqib may have killed Hilliard, but surely the police owed it to an informant to provide better protection, especially considering the alarming rate at which trans women of color fall prey to violence? Will any culpability for this heinous crime fall on them?