Friday, May 30, 2014

Atlanta: Transgender women beaten on train as passengers watch

Disturbing news from Atlanta as a video recording shows two trans women being harassed and beaten on a MARTA train.  Not only does the video capture the violent attack on the women, but the fact that no one on the train moved to help.  Instead, many stood by recording the attack on their phones.

The altercation began when the two trans women were verbally abused by men on the train.  The exchange quickly escalated into kicking and punching, leaving one of the women stripped and completely naked.

From the Advocate:

"[They] just kept of asking us was we real," Janell Crosby, one of the women involved in the attack told WSB TV. "Like really trying to get us. 'Are you real?' 'Are y'all this or that?' Just trying to embarass us."

"They were trying to find out if we are men or women," Tyra Woods told reporters, noting that the verbal harassment began while the women were waiting for the train to arrive. "I shouldn't have to disclose who I am to an innocent person who I'm not even interested in talking to."

"Nobody tried to help. They were all standing up on chairs videotaping," Crosby told the GA Voice. "That's how it ended up on so many [web]sites. I told one cop who was following us to the gate. He acted like he didn't want to hear from us. He didn't write any statement or anything."

According to transit authority spokesman Lyle Harris, an investigation into the incident is under way, albeit with less than full cooperation.

“We will not tolerate this kind of behavior on MARTA,” said MARTA spokesperson Lyle Harris. “We are now taking this under investigation. The MARTA Police Department is looking at what happened on that tape to see if we can determine who was involved and what happened and we will take every action.”

The viral exposure of the video has apparently led to the arrest of one of the men, 34 year old Luther L. Thomas.

I really urge people to watch the original unedited version of the video, which can be seen here. While disturbing, it's important that Americans understand the degree of humiliation transgender people face every day.

Watch the WSB TV report below.

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