Thursday, October 04, 2012

January Marie Lapuz, A Member Of Sher Vancouver, Stabbed To Death

January Marie Lapuz
[New Westminster, British Columbia] A trans woman fatally stabbed in her New Westminster home Sept 29 is being remembered as a kind, generous and spiritual person who struggled to overcome persecution. Police have identified the victim as January Marie Lapuz, 26. “January was an amazing person," says friend Alex Sangha. "She faced so much rejection, so much ridicule, but she was so happy." "It's very sad. It's very hurtful. It's very painful," says Sangha, who is also the founder of Sher Vancouver, where Lapuz was an executive member. The RCMP Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) says the New Westminster Police Department received a call just after 10pm on Sept 29 to assist paramedics with a stabbing victim in the 500 block of 3rd Ave. Lapuz was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5:44am. “The investigation remains active and ongoing as we continue to look for a motive and a suspect in this case. We also need the public’s assistance as the search continues for a male who witnesses spotted running from the scene Saturday night,” says RCMP Sergeant Jennifer Pound. Pound tells Xtra she can't go into details about the death or speculate on any motive at this point. "To say something such as a hate crime would be speculation at this point," she says. Pound says Lapuz "was working in the sex trade to some degree." "I believe there was advertisements online," she says. In a press release, police first identified Lapuz by her male birth name and then noted she had legally changed her name four years ago to January Marie. Pound says police were just going by the victim's birth name. "She identified as a woman," Sangha says. David Eby, of the BC Civil Liberties Association, says trans people continually face issues with law enforcement regarding identification. "The implicit understanding in the [police] release is that the name change wasn't legitimate," Eby says. "It's definitely an issue for law enforcement . . . and it isn't going away."

Read more at Daily Xtra

Celebration of Life
January Marie Lapuz
Sat, Oct 13 at 5:30pm
Roundhouse Community Centre room B, 181 Roundhouse Mews
Potluck and wear pink