Transgender Documentary Star Koko Da Doll Shot Dead in Atlanta

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Rasheeda Williams, also known as Koko Da Doll, a transgender woman and subject of the award-winning documentary "Kokomo City," was shot dead in Atlanta on Tuesday night.
The Atlanta police are currently investigating the incident, and no further information has been released.
"Kokomo City" is an independent documentary that follows the lives of Black transgender women in Atlanta and New York, depicting their struggles to move beyond sex work, which is often their only means of supporting themselves.
Fellow cast members and the film's director have shared heartfelt tributes to Koko Da Doll, and a U.S. theatrical release of the film is planned for later this year.
Koko's death highlights the ongoing violence against Black transgender women, with statistics showing that three out of four transgender sex workers have experienced sexual violence or intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.

 

The team behind the award-winning documentary, “Kokomo City,” is expressing grief and shock over the death of one of its subjects, transgender woman Rasheeda Williams, also known as Koko Da Doll.

The 35-year-old was reportedly shot dead in Atlanta on Tuesday night.

Police Investigation Underway

Atlanta police responded to a shooting on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW, where they found a female victim with a gunshot wound.

She was pronounced deceased at the scene. Homicide investigators are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident, but no further information has been released.

Kokomo City Documentary

“Kokomo City” is an independent documentary that follows the lives of Koko Da Doll and other Black transgender women in Atlanta and New York.

It depicts their struggles to move beyond sex work, which is often their only means of supporting themselves in a society that offers limited traditional employment opportunities.

The film premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won the Adobe NEXT Innovator Award and the Audience Award in the festival’s NEXT section.

“Kokomo City” is an independent documentary that follows the lives of Koko Da Doll and other Black transgender women in Atlanta and New York.

Tributes Pour In

Fellow cast members and the film’s director, D. Smith, have shared heartfelt tributes to Koko Da Doll. In a statement provided to Deadline, Smith said, “It’s extremely difficult to process Koko’s passing, but as a team, we are more encouraged now than ever to inspire the world with her story. To show how beautiful and full of life she was. She will inspire generations to come and will never be forgotten.”

Violence Against Transgender Women

Koko’s death highlights the ongoing violence against Black transgender women. According to the Transgender Law Center, three out of four transgender sex workers have experienced sexual violence or intimate partner violence at some point in their lives.

The Atlanta Police Department, in a press release following Koko’s death, acknowledged the epidemic-level violence against Black and brown transgender women in America.

Theatrical Release Planned

“Kokomo City,” produced by D. Smith, Harris Doran, and Bill Butler, was acquired by Magnolia Pictures at Sundance, with a U.S. theatrical release planned for later this year.

The film has been praised for its candid and unapologetic portrayal of life for the trans women featured in it.

Craig Miller

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