Milwaukee rapper Yung LT’s body is still missing, but five men have been charged with his murder.
Police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin have halted the search for the body of transgender rapper Evon Young after three weeks of combing through a local landfill. Sergent Mark Stanmeyer told WTAQ that detectives had managed to narrow down the area where they thought the body was located, but even after moving and searching through tons of garbage searchers were still unable to locate Young’s body. He says that they are disappointed, but feel strongly that they still have “enough other evidence” to convict Victor Stewart, Ashanti Mcalister, Billy R. Griffin, Ron Joseph Allen, and Devin L. Seaberry. All 5 men have been charged with the murder of Young, who has been missing since January, 1, 2013.
The Guerrilla Angel Report explains that several of the men arrested in connection to the homicide assert that Young’s death was the result of an internal gang argument. They have admitted to beating and choking him, and then placing a bag over his head until he was unconscious. Young was then shot and his body was thrown into a dumpster. WTAQ reports that police were unaware that the body was disposed of in this manner until the contents of the dumpster were transported to the landfill, making the massive search which included police, excavators, search dogs, and landfill workers necessary.
Although the murder is not being considered a hate crime, and there is no evidence that the 5 men who have been charged were aware that Young was transgender, the media coverage of the case has many LGBT advocacy groups up in arms. GLAAD, which has worked for the last 25 years with media, the entertainment industry, and social networks to help”bring culture-changing stories of LGBT people into millions of homes and workplaces every day,” argues that the media coverage has been at the very least problematic. Many reporters have referred to Young by both the name and gender he was assigned at birth, and GLAAD asserts that by doing this, “journalists misrepresent who Young was, and bring unnecessary anguish to the family and loved ones who are mourning his loss.” They do point out that several media outlets have made corrections in the way they refer to Young in their reports, but “many more remain” who have not.
According to the Wisconsin Gazette, FORGE, which is an advocacy group for transgenders and their families based in Wisconsin, has called for “accuracy and respect” in the media coverage of this, and any story involving transgender members of society. They said, ” It is crucial that media outlets respect the identities of transgender people in their coverage, especially in stories where transgender people have already been victimized by violent crime,” and ask that “all media and individuals talking about this case to respectfully use masculine pronouns (he, him, his) and name (Evon, or his rapper name Yung LT).”