After transgender woman's murder in Dallas, cops investigate rise in transgender killings in the last seven months
The Dallas Police will be holding a LGBTQ town hall on Thursday, May 23, as part of the department's outreach to the LGBTQ community
Dallas police are currently investigating whether the murders of two transgender women and an assault on another woman over the past seven months are connected. According to authorities, the most recent victim, 22-year-old Muhlaysia Booker, was found fatally shot on Saturday, May 18. The victims are all reportedly African-American. The police stated that the first victim, a 29-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot inside a vehicle on October 21, 2018.
The second victim was a 26-year-old transgender woman who was stabbed multiple times on April 13 this year but survived, CNN reported. Dallas police Maj. Vincent Weddington told reporters that she was able to give a description of the suspect.
Weddington told the reporters: "At this time, the department is actively looking into whether or not these assaults and murders have any connection to one another. At this time, we have not been able to draw up an affirmative link between these offenses. We're working to see if there is any link."
He also said that authorities are working with federal officials to determine if the incidents should be classified as hate crimes. According to Amber Roman, the department's LGBTQ liaison officer, the Dallas Police will be holding an LGBTQ town hall on Thursday, May 23, as part of the department's outreach to the LGBTQ community. Weddington said: "The department is asking for the public's assistance in closing these three cases."
Dallas police identified the victim from the fatal attack in October as Brittany White in a post. Weddington said that currently there are no suspects. He also said that the two victims had been in the same area before the alleged offenses took place but it was not clear which two victims he was referring to. Weddington said that two victims got into a car with someone and one victim let someone get into their vehicle.
Weddington said: "Everybody needs to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings when they're out in public, and use caution when interacting socially." In a separate incident which took place last month, 22-year-old Booker was assaulted by several men in a parking lot of an apartment complex in Dallas after what authorities said was a minor traffic accident. A video from the incident showed the suspects repeatedly punching and kicking her while she was on the ground.
Authorities said that the suspects were reported to have also used homophobic slurs when they were attacking Booker. At the time of the incident, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings condemned the assault. He said: "I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman. Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior."
In April, a man named Edward Thomas was arrested and charged in Booker's assault. Weddington said that the 29-year-old man had not been linked to her death. Attorneys who represent Thomas issued a statement on Tuesday, May 21, saying that the alleged assault of Booker in April was not a hate crime.
The statement from the law office of Andrew Wilkerson and Michael Campbell Jr. said: "Thomas had absolutely nothing to do with Booker's death. We have no doubt that the truth will come to light in this situation after a thorough investigation by the Dallas Police Department."
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