By Paul Schindler
The NYPD arrested a suspect on August 12 in connection with the death of Tiffany Harris, a Black transgender woman who was murdered in the Bronx last month.
Alpha Diallo, a 21-year-old man who resides at 1849 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, was arrested for fatally stabbing the 32-year-old Harris in the third-floor hallway of 2575 Jerome Avenue after 1:30 a.m. on July 26, the NYPD announced. Harris was rushed to Saint Barnabas hospital, where she was pronounced dead after 2 a.m.
Diallo faces murder and manslaughter charges, as well as a third charge for criminal possession of a weapon.
Bronx transgender woman was just 32 years old when she was murdered
It is not clear why the two were at an apartment building at 2575 Jerome Avenue in Fordham Manor. Harris resided at 55 East 176th Street in Morris Heights, about a mile from Diallo’s residence at 1849 Sedgwick Avenue, also in Morris Heights.
The pair were suspected of having met up for a sex work encounter, police sources told the Daily News, but cops said it is not clear why Harris was stabbed and the investigation into the case is ongoing.
The arrest concluded weeks of incremental updates from the NYPD, which continued to release new surveillance shots and video of a man wanted for questioning before finally making the arrest on August 12. The police did not immediately respond to the question of whether the man whose picture and videos they distributed was Diallo.
The community held a vigil for Harris earlier this month.
The case, like many others involving transgender women, has served as a prime example of the ongoing pattern of police and media failing to respect the names and gender identities of trans and non-binary individuals. The NYPD, before and now, identified the victim as a woman but only referred to her dead name, and the Daily News misgendered her in the headline of a news article on August 13. The newspaper in a story shortly after the killing reported that Harris’ mother identified her as a man but also said, “I didn’t know much about his lifestyle.”
Diallo’s attorney, according to the Daily News, argued in court that his client suffers from serious mental health issues that have been exacerbated during the COVID-19 crisis due to a lack of adequate access to necessary care. The attorney also tied his client’s mental health issues to Diallo’s previous encounters with the criminal justice system.
The NYPD did not immediately respond to an email seeking further details about the circumstances surrounding the encounter between Diallo and Harris.