Jazz AlfordAge 30
28 Sep 2016
Birmingham, Alabama (USA)
Jazz was shot dead in a room at the Kings Inn hotel. Her body was discovered by housekeeping staff.
Denzell Thomas, 22, was indicted for her murder after being arrested for shooting another trans woman during a home invasion and robbery. In June 2019 he took a plea deal.
Denzell Thomas took a plea deal Monday avoiding the trial scheduled this week for the 2016 murder of transgender woman Jazz Alford. Thomas was also facing charges of robbery and attempted murder in two separate crimes targeting transgender women.
Just three days before killing Jazz Alford, Thomas robbed a transgender woman at gunpoint after connecting with her through the now defunct ‘Backpage’. Thomas thought no one would care about what happens to trans women, specifically those who engage in sex work. To quote authors who previously wrote about Thomas, he was wrong.
Alford’s sister Toya Milan, who is also transgender, described her sibling as a “loving person”. The family said they “didn’t know anybody that would want to hurt her.”
“Her death was a huge hit for the LGBT community. There was another transgender person shot multiple times somewhere else recently. People think transgender people are monsters, when really we just want to be accepted,” said Milan.
The homicide division at Birmingham Police Department reportedly were aware of Alford’s trans identity, but didn’t reveal it because of “case security.” This led to media outlets wrongly misgendering her.
Jazz worked as a reservation agent at U.S. Airways, according to a friend who spoke to Mic. She traveled frequently and loved to visit Philadelphia and Atlanta. According to her brother, she was very spiritual and loved to sing.
Jazz's murder was not recorded on the official TDoR 2016 list released by Transgender Europe (TGEU).