Dallas Police Say A Black Trans Woman Was Attacked By A “Mob” & They’re Investigating
Transgender women of color face deadly levels of hate and violence, and another tragic incident in Texas on Friday proved exactly that. A black transgender woman was attacked in Dallas in what police are flagging as a hate crime, CBS News reported. On Sunday, police said they arrested a suspect and charged him with aggravated assault, according to CBS News.
According to CBS Dallas, who first reported the incident, the woman, Muhlaysia Booker, was assaulted on Friday in broad daylight. There was a crowd of people standing around, with some yelling homophobic slurs, according to CBS News. At least one onlooker caught the whole thing on video, as BuzzFeed reported, and it began after Booker got out of the car after a minor traffic issue. After one man walked towards her initially, others joined in on the assault on Booker, a Facebook video shows. A group of women finally dragged Booker to safety, but she was already injured and struggling to walk, as BuzzFeed reported. According to CBS News, she reported the assault when she got to the hospital.
"Officers spoke with the victim, a Transgender female, who had been assaulted by known suspects," the Dallas Police Department (DPD) wrote in a statement posted to their website. "The victim stated that the suspects used homophobic slurs during the assault."
While an earlier version of the DPD's statement said that the department was still determining whether the incident was a hate crime, they have since updated it to say that they had made an arrest for "the aggravated assault, which is being flagged as a hate crime."
“My daughter is traumatized from it. Very traumatized,” said Booker's father, Peirre Booker, according to CBS News. “Something swiftly should be done about it. As a parent, no one wants to see this happen to their child.”
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings also condemned the assault, in a statement posted to Facebook.
"I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman," Rawlings wrote. "Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior."
While it's very difficult to track exactly how much violence against transgender people happens every year, CNN gathered information in collaboration with the New York City Anti-Violence Project and the Human Rights Campaign showing that more trans people — 28 in total —were killed in 2018 than had ever been recorded before. As CNN wrote, every victim except one was a woman, and every victim except one was a person of color.
Thankfully, Muhlaysia Booker did not lose her life, and she expressed gratitude to those who had supported her after the attack in a Facebook post, according to Pink News.
"I love yall [sic] sooo much," she wrote. "Thank you so much its [sic] a blessing being lucky enough to witness the love and respect Im [sic] getting and thank you to all my genuine friends that been with me through this journey and knowing the real me knowing nobody deserves that.”