A 23-year-old transgender woman was brutally beaten in downtown Dallas last week, in what the city’s mayor has said looked like “mob violence”.
The attack took place in broad daylight, and was caught on camera, with the disturbing video showing a man pushing the woman to the ground, straddling her and punching her while onlookers kick her until a group of women intervene.
The attack reportedly began after the victim, 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker, was involved in a minor traffic accident.
According to relatives, Booker suffered from facial fractures and has her arm in a sling, but posted on Facebook on Saturday night to thank the people who have supported her through her ordeal.
Last night, authorities arrested a suspect. Anti-LGBT slurs were reportedly used during the attack, meaning it could be treated as a hate crime, although Texas hate crime law does not cover gender identity,
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that he had seen the video and is “extremely angry” about the incident. He also said: “The Dallas Police Department is fully investigating, including the possibility that this was a hate crime. Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community.”
Booker’s father said his daughter had faced hatred in the past for being transgender.
According to a 2015 survey, one in four transgender people have been assaulted because they are trans.
Last year, at least 26 transgender people in the US died as a result of violent attacks, with trans women of colour the most at risk.