Milwaukee Crime Stoppers offers $28,000 reward for info in killing of transgender woman

By: - July 6, 2022 3:47 pm

LGBTQ+ Pride flags | Susan J. Demas/Michigan Advance

Milwaukee Crime Stoppers is offering a $28,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the killing of  Brazil Johnson. The 28-year-old transgender Black woman was shot in Milwaukee near Teutonia and Garfield Avenues. No arrests have been made thus far, and the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) continues to search for suspects.

Johnson was killed on June 15. Milwaukee County Supervisor Peter Burgelis announced that the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Cream City Foundation, and Milwaukee Crime Stoppers contributed $1,000 each to the reward pot. Attorney Michael Hupy, president of Milwaukee Crime Stoppers, pledged another $25,000.

Burgelis said in a press conference that as a Black transgender woman, Johnson was a member of a community facing “an epidemic of violence.” He added that the reward money “provides an added incentive for anyone who has information about this horrific crime to come forward and help bring about justice for Brazil’s loved ones.” Kevin Turner, executive director of the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, praised the efforts to find Johnson’s killers. “We stand with the family as well,” said Turner. “We’re here to support our transgender community [which] is being attacked on record levels and we want to make sure that their voices are being heard.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, Johnson is at least the 17th transgender person to be murdered in the U.S. in 2022. Black transgender women comprise 66% of all victims of fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, according to a Crime Stoppers press release.


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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.