Atlanta Police Investigating Killing of Trans Woman Featured in Kokomo City Documentary
Atlanta police are investigating the killing of Rasheeda Williams, a trans woman who was featured in the Kokomo City documentary.
Williams, 35, who performed under the stage name Koko Da Doll, was reportedly shot and killed in Atlanta on Tuesday night. The police have released no further information about the incident.
Koko Da Doll Cause of death
The director and cast of Kokomo City have expressed shock and grief over Williams’ death. Director D. Smith, who announced her transition in 2016, created the documentary to show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women.
Smith says that the passing of Koko is extremely difficult to process, but the team is more encouraged than ever to inspire the world with her story.
Fellow participant Daniella Carter wrote on Instagram, “Never thought I’d lose you, but here I am standing alone without you by my side we’re sisters for the life we promised, but now you’re gone I don’t know what to do without you I’m going crazy, I’m trying to hold on to keep strong…” Cast member Dominique Silver wrote on Instagram, “My sister you are gone but you will NEVER be forgotten.”
Kokomo City Sheds Light on Life for Black Trans Women
Kokomo City documents the struggles of Williams and other Black trans women in Atlanta and New York to move beyond a life of sex work.
The film shows that sex work is often the only means of supporting themselves in a society that offers next to no traditional employment opportunities to women like them. Cast members in the film describe the threat of violence inherent in sex work, and the fact that three out of four transgender sex workers have experienced sexual violence or intimate partner violence at some point in their lives, according to the Transgender Law Center.
Kokomo City premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it earned two awards: the Adobe NEXT Innovator Award, and the Audience Award in the festival’s NEXT section. The film was executive produced by Lena Waithe, Stacy Barthe, William Melillo, and Rishi Rajani. The film was acquired by Magnolia Pictures at Sundance, with a U.S. theatrical release planned for later this year.
Kokomo City has been praised for its candid and unapologetic depiction of life for the trans women who appear in it. Director D. Smith made the film independently to avoid having anyone dictate the content. The film aims to show that these women have beautiful lives, beautiful stories, and beautiful spirits.