Erica Keel (1986 - March 21, 2007 was a 21-year-old African American transgender woman in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On March 21, 2007 she was killed in what police classified as a hit-and-run accident but that witnesses claimed was homicide.[1]

At about 2:00 a.m. on March, 21, Keel was struck by a car driven by citizen Roland Bottom, at the intersection of Broad and Thompson streets in North Philadelphia. Two days later, she died of multiple injuries at Hahnemann University Hospital. The Medical Examiner's Office classified Keel's death as a "hit-and-run", and recorded that the driver failed to stop at the scene. Police rejected that classification, and Lt. John Heard of Police Accident Investigation Division said that the vehicle remained at the scene, despite a handwritten AID log listing Keel's death as a "hit-and-run."[2]

Witnesses and friends of Keel refute that Keel's death was accidental. Keel was engaged in sex work at the time, and witnesses claimed to have seen Keel enter the car at Broad Street and Girard Avenue. The car then headed North one block, where witnesses say the driver ejected Keel from the car, and ran over her four times as she lay in the street. Lt. Hearn said Keel's multiple injuries were due to landing on a parked car and hitting a fire hydrant before landing o the pavement.[3]

Members of the the LGBT community have posted on petition and open letter online demanding that Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson launch a full investigation into Keel's death.[4]

Keel's death, and the police department's assessment of the incident come on the heels of controversy surrounding the December 2002 death of Nizah Morris, an African American transgender woman, in Philadelphia.


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