Trans Woman Severely Beaten Among Rash of Brooklyn, N.Y. Hate Crimes
A trans woman is fighting for her life after being viciously attacked late Sunday night while walking with a gay male friend on Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y., reports local WABC-TV News.
The 28-year-old Native American woman, who remains unnamed, was punched and kicked, then struck in the head by a piece of plexiglas the assailants threw at her. Her four male attackers, two of whom were caught on surveillance tape, allegedly made antigay statements, according to police. Her friend escaped without injury.
The woman, who lives in the Bushwick area near her attack, sustained a traumatic brain injury and remains in critical condition. Police have yet to make arrests in the case, but have released the surveillance tape to the media, which clearly depicts two of her attackers entering a nearby bodega. Her case is being investigated as a bias crime.
In light of the beating, another victim in the same neighborhood came forward to report a similar bias attack that happened a few blocks away several weeks ago, reports WABC.
The 22-year-old victim, who identifies as both male and female and wishes to remain anonymous, was shot by a group of young men who she says were yelling expletives and calling out "tranny, gay, [and] all of these derogatory terms." The victim also told ABC that she had previously been both "jumped" and stabbed on two separate occasions within the past two years in that same neighborhood.
Earlier this week in a separate crime, a 33-year-old male Brooklyn resident of the Crown Heights neighborhood was beaten with a hammer by a man yelling gay slurs.
On Tuesday, local LGBT rights activists held a rally to condemn the rash of violence in the Bushwick neighborhood.
"Every attack, every murder, the whole purpose is to keep us silent, to keep us from transitioning, and they're very effective," transgender resident Brooke Cerda told WABC.
"I think it's very clear that [the most recent attack] was because she was a transgender woman," said Kate Barnhart of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth. "The nature of the slurs against her and the fact that the fight did not escalate to physical violence until they realized she was transgender indicate that this was a hate crime."
Anyone with information relevant to the case should call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIPS 577, or report them at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.
Watch surveillance footage of two of the suspects in the Bushwick attack below.