Monday, May 16, 2011

Update 3:46 pm - 5/16 - Attackers in the Maryland McDonald's Transgender Beating Charged with Hate Crimes

UPDATE 3:46 pm CT 5/16
Major update!
The office of the Baltimore County State's Attorney said Teonna Monae Brown, 18, was indicted Monday on charges that included hate crime and first- and second-degree assault.

A female juvenile faces the same charges, the office said.

Read more:

UPDATE 12:09 pm CT 4/26
Vicki Thoms, the second victim in the attack that took place on April 18th has spoken out. When asked about details of the attack she said the following to the local news:
"I kept screaming, 'Stop. Get off of her.' And they wouldn't stop. One of the girls said to me, 'It's none of your (expletive) business,' and hit me in the face,"
In reference to why she helped:
"When they started really hurting her, to the point where I thought she was going to die, that's when I decided someone needed to do something."
Teonna Monae Brown is being help without bail. Her mother says this behavior is not like her and that her daughter "does not hate transgender people. This is not about gender. That's not Teonna."

UPDATE 9:09 am CT 4/26
Just read this small bit of info... The Maryland State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger in regards to the 14 year old attacker being charged as an adult said, "We're looking at the proper place for her case to be." As of right now she has been charged with 2nd degree assault.

I personally think she should be charged as an adult... Not because I am a trans and she attacked a trans woman, but just because of the sheer viciousness of the attack. Also, charges will not be brought up against the man who filmed the attack because technically he did not break the law...

source: The Washington Post
UPDATE 8:54 pm CT 4/25
Seems the 18 year old Teonna Monae Brown has a thing for getting into fights at this McDonald's. Apparently she was arrested for assaulting a mother and her children there last year. Those charges where apparently dropped. In this however they have charged her now with 1 count first g=degree assumt and two counts of 2nd degree assault. My guess is that she won't get off this time.

Also of note is that the unnamed 14 year old apparently told police that they 'both got into a fight with a woman over using the bathroom.' Hmmm... What do you call that again, when you attack someone for who they are? Like attacking a trans woman for being in the ladies room... Please remind me...

Anyway, it seems they are reviewing the charges to see if additional charges should be filed... Hmm... What other charge can they file?.. I just can't seem to remember what it is called?

Meanwhile the rally planed for tonight turned out to be a success. It is nice to see so many people turn out to make such an important statement!

UPDATE 9:38 pm CT 4/24
Police have identified the 18 year old attacker in the Maryland transgender beating as Teonna Monae Brown, of Rosedale MD. She is being charged with 1st and 2nd degrees assault (second degree for punching the older woman who tried to assist the victim). From what I can find the 1st degree assault charge carries up to a 25 year sentence (§ 3-202. Assault in the first degree) and the 2nd degree charge 10 years and / or a fine (§ 3-203. Assault in the second degree.).

More here

UPDATE 10:15:00pm CT
Just read this on the kens5 website... The owner of the McDonald's where the assault took place has said the employee who shot the video "is no longer employed with my organization." He also said others may be disciplined as well. Thought people would be happy to hear this, I know I was.
UPDATE 7:00pm CT
The victim in Monday's McDonald beating speaks out:

Read the updated article

The article quote her as saying that the attackers said "That's a dude, that's a dude and she's in the female bathroom"
UPDATE 11:30am CT
The smoking gun has release a bit of information about the victim of this disgusting crime:
The police report identifies the victim as 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, who appears identical to Christopher Lee Polis, whose rap sheet includes convictions for disorderly conduct, property destruction, and prostitution, according to court records. The civil rights group Equality Maryland has identified the McDonald’s victim as a transgender woman.
My question is why is her rap sheet relevant, wouldn't her name suffice people? Why does the media seem to need to always find some justification for what happens to us? Like look this person was a bad seed so they must have had it coming. This happened in the Nikki Araguz case in Texas as well as plenty more... WTF.

Equality Maryland has confirmed that the victim of this attack was in deed a trans woman. They have issued following statement:
"A member of our community was recently the victim of senseless violence. Equality Maryland is saddened that in this day and age, bigotry and discrimination against transgender individuals continue, especially in our own backyard.

No person ever deserves to be a victim of violence regardless of their gender identity or presentation. We encourage the State's Attorney General to investigate this as a hate crime based on gender identity. We are encouraged that McDonald's is working with local police to investigate this incident, and hope that the company will follow-up with appropriate disciplinary action against any employees involved.

We remain committed to advancing gender identity protections for the entire state of Maryland and will continue to work with local organizations and legislators to advance these protections.

Equality Maryland, with the Transgender Education Project will work to empower the transgender community as the educational voice of their community and develop trainings and support programs in coalition with state and national transgender organizations on a broad range of topics that include support and resource information for transgender Marylanders. The project will continue to hold educational forums for the population at large."
I just read this on the Baltimore Sun website:
State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said the racial dynamics of the incident – the attackers are black, and the victim is white – could result in hate crime charges.

"We just received this case, and the police department is continuing their investigation," Shellenberger said. "If there is evidence that the crime was racially motivated, we will take a look at those charges and see if we meet those elements. We have the ability, if the facts are there, to upgrade the charges at a later date."
Their article can be read here

I just want to add that regardless if the women attacked in MD was trans, was not trans, or was simply just white; there is NO justification for what happened to her!


I write this with tears in my eyes... And people wonder why we want laws passed in regards to our civil rights and protections!

FYI, the video is very violent.

Transwoman Severely Beaten at Baltimore McDonalds While Employees Watch


stacy said...

This is just sickening. Brings tears to my eyes... Why can't the outright HATE be enough to make this a hate crime?

Anonymous said...

Notice the title: "Silly Trans Woman"

Funny how people get so boiling mad when it "looks" like a race issue. But then when it involves a gay person, then all of a sudden people make a joke out of it. Double standards and actually reveals racism inside the person. No one deserves the beat down this transsexual got and the ppl at McDonalds, the two girls and even the camera guy are still very much in the wrong.

Katherine said...

Anonymous, apparently you didn't read the article I posted because, Ummm... I am a transsexual and... Not sure how you missed that because the content of this site is very trans and LGBT positive. Anyway, I agree that regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation no one deserves to be the victim of violence but please read my content before jumping to conclusions that I am making fun of anyone.

Avrilana said...

I found your blog searching for updated information on the attack, and I just wanted to say I like your blog as well. Thanks for sharing the information, and keeping folks updated.


Caroline said...

this attack was horrific and the attackers need to be charged with a hate crime. The employee who filmed it and did nothing needs to be charged too. It will be a a huge wake up call to all the would-be bashers that attacking a transgendererd person is a hate crime. I know your community is well aware of attacks like this, but this video has really opened my eyes to the fact that transgendered people need to be protected. I hope the victim of this attack knows how many people are sickened by what happened to her and are sending her love.

Anonymous said...

I'm French and somehow ran across this video on internet.
I read you all, and some of you are refering to this case as a gender hate crime but what i saw is merely 2 brutal girls going hysterical and beating up a person not because she's was a tranny in my opinion, but because they were just yearning for a violent fight. With anybody. Had any of us come into the bathroom at that moment, he'd have been bashed like mad all the same.

And from an outside perspective, tell me if i'm wrong, i would say it points out a deeper problem, that of poor areas culture, in which violence is so common and the only response for most kids. And i bet what we watched just happens everyday all across the US...

And i read a few minutes ago the police got her rap sheet. What's the relevance?! Why do they need to know her background to make sure she didn't deserve to be bashed?!!

Katherine said...

1. The rap sheet has no relevance but it is something that seems to pop up when ever a trans man or women is the victim of a crime or litigation. The product of a culture that wants to blame the transgender person for the action in some way I suppose.

2. Chrissy (the victim) has said the attackers stated she was a man in the women's rest room. Also the attackers say this to the woman who attempted to help. If these are true then the motive was in fact Chrissy's gender identity and thus a hate crime.

3. Please do not refer to anyone as a "tranny". it is degrading and disrespectful. Also, not sure in your "he'd have been bashed like mad all the same" is a reference to your being a man, but Chrissy is a trans woman and "she'd" is the proper term when referencing her. Please be respectful when posting comments on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Would you please calm down?!
"I didn't mean to be disrecpectful when i used the word Tranny" and you're the one being agressive.
Also keep in mind i'm French, so i can sometimes be awkward.
When i said "like mad "i was refering to these 2 girls getting crazy.
I hope i made my point.

Having said this, i watched the video of Chrissie talking about the fight, and i heard too she said they did refer to her as a "dude", but i also heard her sha said they were definitely wanting a fight which leads me to think Chrissie being a transexual was only an excuse for her to seek for a fight, and if she hadn't been a transexual, i'm pretty sure the attackers would have found any other excuse and bashed her or anyone else at that point or later on...

Katherine said...

I do apologize if it seems I am being aggressive. I understand the language barrier and didn't mean to come across as being combative but my pet peeve is the word "tranny"... I absolutely hate it! Overall though I picked up that your overall message was not negative or meant to be insulting or hurtful. I want to stress that I invite the discussion and encourage people to speak their mind.


In regards to your statement that Chrissy said the girls seemed like they were looking for a fight, I would say that was kinda irrelevant. In the end the choose to attack someone based on gender identity and that is a hate crime. All it shows is that the hate portion of the crime was not premeditated (they may not have been seeking a trans woman) but the fact remains they attacked on and made clear there reasons for doing so.