During a vigil for the death of a transgender woman on Wednesday, a car drove through protesters on the streets of The Grove in St. Louis. Only minor injuries were reported. The driver is still on the loose.
The vigil was for Kenny “Kiwi” Herring, a 30-year-old trans woman of color who was shot by police outside an apartment building on Tuesday.
Authorities say they responded to a call about a stabbing, and found a victim with several knife wounds. When police tried to arrest Herring, she reportedly slashed the arm of one officer, who fired on her.
Herring died on the scene. She reportedly leaves behind a wife and three children.
Kiwi Herring, a Black trans woman, was killed by police today in St. Louis. Rest in power and glory, sister. 💔#SayHerName #KiwiHerring
About 100 people attended the candlelight event Wednesday evening and several staged a protest march down one street. Friends dispute the police’s account that she was armed. They also claim cops continually misgendered Herring and rushed to judgment about the situation.
“That can’t be true what they’re saying,” said Herring’s nephew Nicholas Herring, who said he had a close relationship with Herring. “Kenny was just kind, caring and hilarious.”
“Some people hated them because of their lifestyle,” said Krystle Purnell, Herring’s close friend and classmate. “But Kenny was always Kenny, no matter what anyone thought.”
Herring’s neighbor and friend Brooke Jones, however, said that she wasn’t aware of any neighbors harassing Herring. Jones said, “They’ll talk their little talk but, at the end of the day, she’s heard it so many times she didn’t let it faze her.”
Jones said Herring was excited Monday night about a barbecue she was planning for her friends.
“If you needed anything from Kiwi, she would give it to you,” Jones said. “She’d see my kids outside playing and she’d hand out popsicles, have barbecues, all that.”
The two officers who responded to the call have been put on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal investigation.