Black transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker was involved in a minor traffic accident a little over a month ago. She was attacked shortly after the accident by a mob when the other driver pulled a gun on Booker and refused to let her leave until she paid for the damages.
Video of the vicious attack went viral on social media and spawned national outrage as people shouted: “That’s what your fa**ot a** gets,” “Get that faggot out of our hood,” and “Shoot that punk a**” at her while she was being beaten.
Edward Thomas was arrested for his part in Booker’s beating. Someone had offered Thomas $200 to beat Booker as the crowd gathered at the accident scene. Thomas admitted to beating Booker but not to shouting the slurs.
At the end of the video, she was dragged off by a group of women.
Booker suffered facial fractures and a broken wrist. Her arm was put in a sling.
Then, Booker was shot to death and pronounced dead on the scene a little over a month after the beating on May 18. Her body was found by police after they received a report of a shooting but no suspects have been charged yet.
The Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate released moving statements.
“She was described by her friends and family as someone who lived in her truth. Her truth being that she was beaten just because. She was murdered just because. When will we be moved past the just because? Because transgender rights are human rights.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and other city officials also attended to show their respects.
Black transgender women are particularly vulnerable to violence. According to the Human Rights Campaign, five transgender people have been killed this year. In 2018, the organization reported 26 transgender people were killed, most of them Black transwomen.