On Friday, another transgender woman was viciously attacked, fracturing bones in her face and injuring her right arm. But this time, the brutal beating was caught on a cellphone video in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people.
Sunday night about 9:30 pm, police in Dallas, Texas arrested a 29-year-old Black man as a suspect: Edward Thomas. It’s not clear exactly what his “role” was in the beating, but he has been accused of aggravated assault.
Police are investigating the beating, which happened after a minor traffic accident, as a hate crime. Police wouldn’t say exactly whether or not other people would be arrested in regards to the beating, but the video appears to show two to three other men beating the woman.
A man in a white shirt in the video is shown beating the woman into unconsciousness shouting homophobic slurs while the crowd looks on and does nothing. After the beating, several women carried the unconscious woman to safety.
“You could just feel the energy and the malevolence of this crowd escalate as the violence ensued and there was no voice standing up saying stop,” Leslie McMurray, a transgender woman who is an education and advocacy coordinator at the Resource Center in Dallas, told WFAA. “There’s no reason that our lives are less valuable than someone else or that we should be someone’s punching bag just because we’re transgender.”
According to FBI data, there has been an increase in hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Last November, the FBI reported that 7,175 hate crimes were committed in the United States in 2017. Of those hate crimes, 1,130 were based on sexual orientation bias and 119 on gender identity bias.
The data showed a 5% increase in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation and a 4% decrease in hate crimes motivated by gender identity. Of crimes motivated by gender identity bias, 106 targeted transgender people, a 1% increase from 2016.