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Black transgender woman found dead on Christmas Day

Black transgender woman found dead on Christmas Day
© Getty Images

A Black, transgender woman was found dead with a gun shot wound to the side of her head in Chicago, according to a local report and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  

Courtney "Eshay" Key, 25, was found dead Friday around 8:35 p.m. with an "open wound to the left side" of her head near 900 E. 82nd Street on the South Side of Chicago, according to a report from CBS Chicago.

Key's family told the local outlet she was the victim of a hate crime, according to the news source.

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According to her family, Key had also been misgendered when she was listed by authorities as "John Doe," adding that it was an "insult to her memory." 

“We are human. We are real,” Beverly Ross, a friend of Key's said, according to CBS Chicago. “We’re tired of Chicago police misgendering trans people; gender non-conforming people.”

In a statement released Tuesday, the HRC acknowledged the death of Key, adding that it had been the 43rd known death of a transgender person this year. 

"HRC has now tracked at least 43 deaths this year of transgender and gender non-conforming people," the statement read. "We say 'at least' because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported."

The HRC noted that this year, the organization has recorded more violent deaths of trans and gender non-conforming people than any year since is started tracking the deaths in 2013.  

A spokesperson from the Chicago Police Department (CPD) did not indicate that Key's death was a hate crime.

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”At this time, the incident is being investigated as a death investigation," the spokesperson said, according to a report from NBC

There are no further updates available as of Thursday night, according to a CPD representative who spoke to The Hill. The representative did confirm that detectives are investigating the case.

The Hill has reached out to the HRC and the Chicago mayor's office for further comment on Key's death.