Muhlaysia Booker spoke to reporters about her brutal attack in Dallas captured in a video widely shared on social media last week.
“This time I can stand before you,” she said on Sunday, per a local CBS News affiliate. “In other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”
Dallas Police have arrested Edward Thomas, whom they have identified as a suspect in the beating, and charged him with aggravated assault. The department has asked the FBI if Booker’s attack could be charged as a hate crime, following pressure from activists.
“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the City of Dallas,” Booker told reporters. “But I want to sincerely thank all of you guys for coming out, for support and fairness. And just as I am overwhelmed by your presence, your donation to support of my transgender family and allies who want to see justice served in this case. I will remain strong with your support.”
ORIGINAL STORY BELOW:
A trans woman was brutally attacked over the weekend — indicative of the alarming rates of violence that trans women, specifically Black trans women, face even as LGBTQ+ acceptance and visibility are at an all-time high.
The woman, whom Out has chosen not to identify, was attacked by a group of men outside of an apartment complex in Dallas after a minor traffic accident, the Associated Press reports. Purported video footage of the incident posted on Facebook shows one man, and then multiple men, beating the woman unconscious as a crowd looks on, shouting homophobic and misogynistic slurs.
"Officers spoke with the victim, a transgender female, who had been assaulted by known suspects," said the Dallas Police Department in a statement, per BuzzFeed News. "The victim stated that the suspects used homophobic slurs during the assault."
The Dallas Police Department is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime. Trans people are not explicitly protected by hate crime laws in Texas as the state’s hate crime laws only cover sexual orientation, not gender identity.
More than 7,000 hate crimes were committed in the United States in 2017, the AP notes, over a thousand of which targeted individuals for their queer or trans identity, real or perceived. There were 52 anti-LGBTQ+ homicides that year, per the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 27 of which involved trans and gender nonconforming victims, 22 of whom were of color.
“The time for addressing this crisis of violence is now,” says the NCAVP in its annual report on anti-LGBTQ+ hate violence.