According to the Newark Department of Public Safety, Moore was found “unresponsive” in Newark on April 1, about a week before her birthday.
Police responded to the YMCA on Broad Street around 4:10 a.m. after getting a call about a sick or injured person. The officers found Moore lying on the sidewalk in front of the building. Emergency responders transported her to University Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased.
Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose said Moore’s death has been ruled as a suicide.
“To date, our detectives have not discovered evidence to the contrary,” Ambrose said. “However, I have reached out to Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens and requested a review of Ms. Moore’s death by the county’s Homicide Task Force.”
“Upon completion of the Homicide Task Force’s review, we will apprise Ms. Moore’s family of the outcome of these findings,” Ambrose said.
Tuesday’s announcement comes after months of vehement calls for action from Moore’s family members and the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, who have alleged that police mishandled the initial investigation and “pushed the case under the rug.”
Read the center’s full statement about Moore’s death here.
Advocates have pointed out that Moore posted a video to Instagram in 2018, where she claimed she was robbed on the way to work, but police didn’t file a report because of her sexual identity.
“Ashley Moore was treated as if she didn’t matter,” advocates wrote. “As if Black lives don’t matter. Ashley matters, and finding some justice in this horrid case matters, too.”
A GoFundMe campaign has raised almost $6,000 to create a legal fund for Moore’s case, as well as to advocate against other violence committed against the LGBTQ community. (See the campaign here)
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