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A $50,000 reward was announced Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of a driver who struck and killed a 22-year-old transgender woman in Hollywood on Sept. 27 and fled the scene.
Los Angeles Police Department investigators announced last week that they were searching for the driver, who struck the victim at approximately 3 a.m. near the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The LAPD did not disclose at the time that the victim, Keymontae Mackenzie, was a transgender woman, which was revealed publicly when City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, initiated the reward on Tuesday.
Det. Zachary Hutchings, of the LAPD’s West Traffic Division, said police are searching for the driver of a light-colored, older model Ford Thunderbird that struck the victim. The vehicle likely had damage to the right front headlight area.
Hutchings said police obtained video of the collision caught by a surveillance camera at a nearby pharmacy, and it showed that Mackenzie had been “horsing around” with friends near the corner seconds before entering the street and being struck by the Thunderbird. The detective said the collision appeared to be “unavoidable,” and had the driver stopped, he would have likely been released without being charged if he wasn’t driving under the influence or without a license. Because the driver fled, he or she may face felony hit and run charges.
O’Farrell said he initiated the reward to help generate leads.
“The ‘T’ in LGBT is usually the segment of the population that is forgotten the most,” O’Farrell said. “As an openly gay councilmember, I want to make sure the voice of the transgender community is heard and that someone is looking out for one of our own.”
O’Farrell was joined in city council chambers by representatives of the transgender community and the LAPD for the announcement about the reward. Arranaga said Mackenzie had grown up in foster homes and had come to Hollywood after she turned 18.
“It’s a sad situation for many transgender people, that they don’t have anywhere to go,” Arranaga added.
Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call Det. C. White, with the LAPD’s West Traffic Division, at (323)473-0234 or (213)473-0222.
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