Killing of local trans activist under investigation in Philadelphia

Friday, December 23, 2022
Killing of local trans activist under investigation in Philadelphia
EMBED <>More Videos

Mar'Quis Jackson, who is known as MJ, was killed last Wednesday.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The local LGBTQ community is mourning the loss of a local trans activist.

Mar'Quis Jackson, who is known as MJ, was killed last Wednesday.

Police say his body was found in the Tioga-Nicetown section of Philadelphia. Investigators have ruled his death a homicide.

"This is my baby," said Tara Jackson, as she shows off a photo of her and M.J. "He came out at the age of 17. He told me, 'Mom (I'm trans)'. I said, 'Listen, I don't care who you are, you still my child. I love you for who you are.'"

Jackson had blunt-force trauma to his head. The mystery is now prompting worried conversations among MJ's friends, among them fellow trans activist Porsha Burton.

"He was loving. He loved his family, very family oriented," she said. "He did a lot of canvassing for trans rights. I worked with him on housing issues to get individuals housing assessment and things like of that nature."

Jackson's death comes after a transgender woman was shot and killed in Germantown on Thanksgiving morning.

Their deaths mark at least 35 killings of trans people in the U.S. this year.

In a statement, the City of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs says it is "committed to ensuring that acts of discrimination, bigotry, and hatred are never tolerated in the city of Philadelphia."

The office goes on to say that it is grieving and remains "dedicated to achieving justice, equity, and long-lasting change for the Trans and Non-Binary residents."

There is a $20,000 reward in the case. People can leave an anonymous tip with Philadelphia police at 215-686-TIPS. For those uncomfortable with speaking to police, Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs is also taking tips in the case at 215-686-0330.