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Hate Crime: Young Transgender Woman Beaten Into Seizure At McDonald’s

by David Badash on April 23, 2011

in Discrimination,News

Post image for Hate Crime: Young Transgender Woman Beaten Into Seizure At McDonald’s

A young transgender woman who was in a Baltimore, Maryland area McDonald’s was beaten by two teenagers on Monday, April 18, as she was trying to go to the restroom. As the incident began, a McDonald’s employee filmed the violent attack, which you can see below, and later posted the video on YouTube and reportedly to his Facebook page. The video shows McDonald’s employees did nothing to stop the attack, and actually laughing. The McDonald’s manager did little more than yell, “Stop!” Only one customer, a middle-aged woman — who subsequently also got pushed and kicked — made any attempt to aid the young transgender woman.

 


“She having a seizure, yo. … Police on their way. Y’all better get out of here,” an unidentified man can be heard saying.


 

The three-minute video depicts the 22-year old transgender woman, being kicked in the head repeatedly, and dragged across the floor by the two teenaged assailants. Once the attack stops, the woman rests against the wall, only to be kicked again. Then, as her attackers appear to be leaving, they return and continue the assault, literally dragging her from the back of the restaurant almost all the way to the front door. She has a seizure and convulsions as the beating continues.

“She having a seizure, yo. … Police on their way. Y’all better get out of here,” an unidentified man can be heard saying.

“The police report identifies the victim as 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, who appears identical to Christopher Lee Polis,” writes The Smoking Gun.

 


“On average, a transgender person is murdered every month in the United States. This violence is intolerable,” says Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund.



 

“This latest attack highlights the extraordinary level of violence and brutality that transgender people face in their everyday lives,” Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund told The New Civil Rights Movement. “We call upon the authorities to fully investigate this attack as a hate crime, and hope that the victim will receive some measure of justice.  On average, a transgender person is murdered every month in the United States. This violence is intolerable. We all must redouble our efforts to stop hate-motivated violence directed at transgender people.”

READ: “Washington Times: Transgender People Are ‘Messed Up, Mixed Up, Insane’

Baltimore law enforcement authorities have yet to state what charges will be brought against the two teenagers who were arrested in relation to this crime. It is not known if it will be prosecuted as a hate crime, although Equality Maryland has demanded state Attorney General Douglas Gansler investigate the case as a hate crime.

 


Exactly one week before this hate crime beating, the Maryland Senate sent Maryland citizens a strong message when it effectively killed the Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Bill.



 

“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 gate 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,” Equality Maryland said in a statement.

Maryland’s Hate Crimes Penalties Act “ensures that violent hate crimes against LGBT community members will be investigated and prosecuted as hate crimes,” according to the National Center for Transgender Equality.

“We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling,” McDonald’s said in a statement posted on its website. “Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter.”

Exactly one week before the hate crime beating, the Maryland Senate effectively killed the Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Bill, also known as HB 235, which would have protected transgender people in housing, banking, and employment. While the bill would have had no direct impact on this incident, the Maryland Senate sent Maryland citizens a strong message by killing the bill.

“Nearly everyone in this video is a criminal or an accessory to a crime,” writes Pajamas Media.

Change.org has a petition you can sign, “Demand that the employees on duty at McDonald’s be held responsible in the beating of a trans woman.”

Warning: This video is extremely violent.

 

EDITORIAL NOTE: An earlier version of this report incorrectly identified the transgender woman as black. We apologize for this error.

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