A Cleveland man accused of murdering a transgender woman and dumping the body in an Olmsted Township pond is speaking out to NewsChannel5 from behind bars.
CLEVELAND - Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman said the murder of a transgender woman whose body was found in a pond should be treated as a hate crime.
Dive teams retrieved the badly decomposed remains of Cemia Dove, or her given name Carl Acoff Jr., in a pond near MacKenzie Road in Olmsted Township on April 17. There was a concrete block and steel pipe tied to the 20-year-old's half-naked remains, Olmsted Township police said.
"Cemia lived a trouble life of acceptance," said Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman in a news release on Wednesday. "While Cemia struggled, she did not deserve to die as what is likely a hate crime. Too often we lose loved ones because of fear or hate. Violence should not be tolerated against anyone regardless of race, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation."
Dove was reported missing on March 27. Olmsted Township police have not released any details about possible suspects or a motive.
"The violent death of this young woman is unconscionable and needs to be addressed," said Jacob Nash, Cleveland Transgender Community Outreach Committee Chair. "This is the third transgender woman of color murdered in April in the U.S. alone and this needs to stop."