A disturbing video has gone viral of 23-year-old transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker being brutally attacked in Dallas. Now, there are more details coming out about the attack and the man who stands accused of assaulting her.
Edward Thomas, 29, was reportedly offered money to beat her up, Dallas News reported.
Booker said she accidentally backed into another car while driving in the Royal Crest Apartments parking lot and “the driver of the other vehicle, who is named as a suspect in Thomas’ arrest warrant affidavit but has not been arrested, said he ran the victim off the road to keep her from fleeing,” Dallas News wrote Monday afternoon.
Booker claimed a gun was pointed at her and she was not allowed to leave unless she paid for the damage to the car. A crowd gathered and an unknown person offered $200 to Thomas to assault Booker. It was unclear whether Thomas accepted the money. But there was no mistaking the assault, which was captured on video.
The below video is graphic. Watch at your own discretion.
Thomas was arrested Sunday and charged with aggravated assault, ABC News reported. Investigators were also considering charging him with a hate crime.
Booker’s father spoke with NBC about the assault.
“This don’t need to happen to nobody else’s kid, so we pray that everything comes out justifiable. We know the Lord works in mysterious ways,” Pierre Booker said before sharing his thoughts about the attacker: “He’s a coward.”
A report from the Human Rights Campaign said that 2018 was the second consecutive year that more than two-dozen members of the transgender community were known to have been killed. At least 26 transgender people were killed in 2018, the majority of them Black transgender women. Since 2013, there have been 128 killings of transgender people, of whom 80 percent were people of color.
The trend appears to continue. In 2019, the first known transgender person killed was a Black woman in Alabama. Dana Martin, 31, was found dead in a vehicle from a gunshot wound in January.
The actual number of transgender victims was not clear. Physical attacks, harassment and sexual assaults against transgender people are often underreported. Added to the problem, police often identify victims by their birth gender instead of their self-identified gender.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was “extremely angry” by the assault on Booker, vowing that the city “will not stand for this kind of behavior.”
The violent episode came about two weeks after a suspected white supremacist beat a Black woman unconscious in Dallas.