A transgender woman who was seen on video being brutally beaten in Dallas addressed the public for the first time on April 20.
Malaysia Booker, 23, was attacked by several people outside of an apartment complex earlier in April. The assault, which was recorded and shared thousands of times on social media, is being investigated as a hate crime.
Booker thanked supporters and demanded justice at the April 20 rally held outside Abounding Prosperity, Inc., a nonprofit that provides health and social services to LGBTQ folks in Dallas.
“This time, I can stand before you, whereas in other scenarios we are at a memorial,” Booker said. “I am overwhelmed by your presence, your donations to my transgender family, and our allies who want to see justice served in this case.”
Booker was brutally beaten on April 12 outside of the Royal Crest Apartments in southeast Dallas. According to police, she was behind the wheel of a dark-colored vehicle when she accidentally backed into a white car.
The man in the vehicle that Booker hit chased her down and demanded Booker pay for the damages to his vehicle. Police said the man then offered others $200 to beat Booker.
Minutes later, a cellphone video shows a crowd gathered around Booker. The video shows Booker being punched and kicked on the ground until a group of women carries her to safety. Booker suffered a swollen face and a broken wrist.
Edward Thomas was arrested and charged on April 14 for “his role in the aggravated assault” on Booker. Police say more arrests are likely in connection with the attack.
A group of trans activists held a press conference on April 17, demanding that in addition to more arrests, they want the assault to be classified as a hate crime.
“It was clearly a hate crime, and for this to be dismissed as anything less than that is an injustice,” said Maiko Hicks. “So what we’re here for is to make sure all of those people in the video that helped and participated in that hate crime are punished for it.”
The FBI confirmed that Dallas police contacted the agency to help determine if the case rises to the level of a federal hate crime.
“This time it was me,” Booker said. “The next time it could be someone else close to you.”
Watch KXAS-TV’s coverage from the April 20 rally here: nbcdfw.com/news/local/Transgender-Woman-Speaks-Publicly-for-the-First-Time-Since-Brutal-Beating-508852961.html