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By Emanuella Grinberg
A Vermont transgender man died on Sunday from injuries suffered in a beating that was initially investigated as a possible bias incident, Burlington Police said.
Amos Beede, 38, was described by police as transient. He was attacked in a homeless encampment near Pine Street Barge Canal in Burlington, which is where police found him the morning of May 22. He suffered multiple blunt force injuries to his face and head, causing internal bleeding, and numerous broken ribs, police said in a news release the day of the assault.
Beede was brought to the University of Vermont Medical Center for treatment and initially, his recovery prospects seemed favorable. But his condition deteriorated over the week until police announced on Sunday he had succumbed to his injuries.
Chief of Police Brandon del Pozo said in a news release Sunday that the primary motivation for the attack appeared to be unrelated to Beede’s gender identity but the department “has not ruled out the victim’s transgender status as a possible additional motive.” Police “will continue to view this homicide as a possible bias incident,” he said.
Later on Sunday, a Burlington Police spokesman said an investigation revealed the motivation for the assault involved a dispute that was not related to Beede’s gender identity.
“This was not a random crime and the parties involved are known to one another,” Lt. Shawn P. Burke told CNN. Police have identified two persons of interest in the case, he said.
An autopsy will reveal the cause of Beede’s death, del Pozo said.
Research from LGBT advocacy groups suggests people who identify as transgender face disproportionate barriers to basic rights and needs compared to the general population, from access to education, employment, housing and health care to fair treatment in restaurants, stores, public spaces, hospitals and other public places.
One of the most comprehensive surveys of American transgender people to date found that discrimination was pervasive, though people of color in general fared worse than white participants across the board, according to the 2011 study (PDF), “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.”
Based on a study sample of 6,456 valid transgender respondents across the United States the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the study found that respondents were nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 a year compared to the general population. They also experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey.
CNN’s Brandon Griggs contributed to this story.