LGBTQIA transgender Women's Rights

We’ve Lost Our Friend And Trans Rights Activist, Julie Berman.


Woman dead, man charged with 2nd-degree murder after downtown assault: Toronto police

A woman is dead and a man is in custody after an assault in downtown Toronto Sunday afternoon, police say

Police said officers responded to a call just before 2:30 p.m. about a person being assaulted in the area of Harbord Street and Brunswick Avenue, west of Spadina Avenue.

Man charged after woman killed in west-end Toronto residential building, police say

Investigators said the assault took place inside of a residence.

Officers arrived and found a woman suffering from serious injuries to her head. Police said she was rushed to hospital, but later died. She was identified as 51-year-old Julie Berman.

Police arrested and charged Colin Harnack, 29, with second-degree murder.

He is scheduled to appear in a Toronto court Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

Toronto Police


1223 09:13 Homcd #72/2019, Brunswick Ave & Harbord St Area, Julie Berman, 51 

See Toronto Police’s other Tweets

Toronto Police Operations


Harbord St + Brunswick Av
**2:42 pm**
– Officers have located a woman with serious injuries
– Taken to hospital via emergency run
– She has succumbed to her injuries in hospital
– Her death is being treated as suspicious
– 1 man in custody
– Investigating

Julie Berman, a Toronto trans rights activist, was murdered on Dec. 22, 2019.


When Julie Berman came up to the open mic at the trans day of remembrance event on Nov. 20, 2017, she delivered a speech about transphobia in Toronto. She talked about a trans friend of hers that was murdered.

On Sunday, a little over two years later, the trans woman and activist was assaulted and murdered.

“It’s really heartbreaking … the same thing that she was trying to be vocal about happened to her,” said Davina Hader, a friend of the victim and a member of The 519, an organization that advocates for the inclusion of LGBTQ communities’ members and provides services for them.

Ms. Berman had asked her friend, who was filming the vigil in 2017, not to release the clip online. “I have that still, and I was thinking about releasing [the video],” Ms. Hader said.

Toronto police said they found Ms. Berman on Sunday suffering from head injuries in a residence in Toronto’s Brunswick Avenue and Harbord Street area. She was transported to hospital and pronounced dead. Police have charged Colin Harnack, 29, of Toronto, with second-degree murder.

The suspect is not a known member of the LGBTQ community, according to Ms. Hader.

Through her activism, Ms. Berman was asking her community members to be more vigilant, Ms. Hader said. In the 2017 event, “She was talking about another close friend who had been murdered … It’s very emotional.”

Ms. Berman used to be a hairdresser and was involved for almost three decades with community events at The 519. “She was struggling to survive as we all do,” Ms. Hader said. “It’s very unfortunate, very sad.”

According to a study published in 2015 by Trans PULSE project that is led by professors in different universities in Ontario, trans people are targets of specifically directed violence. The study states that 20 per cent of Ontario’s trans people had been physically or sexually assaulted for being trans and another 34 per cent had been verbally threatened or harassed but not assaulted.

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