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Dallas police treat transgender woman’s shooting as a hate crime; 9th case since 2015

Surveillance photo in shooting of transgender woman in Dallas

DALLAS — Dallas police are treating the shooting of a transgender woman as a hate crime, saying the attacker shouted transphobic slurs before shooting the victim.

The attack happened Friday, Sept. 20, but because of her injuries, detectives were unable to confirm certain facts in the case, the department said in a statement.

It was the latest in a string of attacks on Dallas’ transgender community in recent years.

The shooting unfolded in the northwest part of the city, along a four-lane road populated with apartment complexes and businesses.

Around 11 p.m. Friday, a Latino man driving a late-model, four-door Chevrolet pickup truck with large aftermarket rims “pulled alongside the victim, yelled a number of slurs regarding her gender identity,” and shot the victim multiple times in the chest and arm, a Dallas Police Department statement said.

It was not clear from the news release how many times the woman was shot.

Police released a photo of the truck, and asked for the public’s help identifying and locating the shooter.

Authorities made arrests in some of the recent assaults, but others remained under investigation Monday, Sept. 23.

Among those attacked were:

• Chynal Lindsey, 26, of Arlington, whose body was found in White Rock Lake in June;

• Muhlaysia Booker, 22, who was found shot to death May 18 in south Dallas (separately, several men had been caught on video the month before, punching and kicking Booker in an apartment complex parking lot);

• An unidentified 26-year-old woman who survived being stabbed multiple times April 13;

• Brittany White, who was found fatally shot in her car Oct. 21;

• Nicole Hall, 39, whose body a kayaker found floating in White Rock Creek on May 12, 2018;

• Carla Flores-Pavon, 26, who was found strangled to death in her Dallas apartment three days before Hall’s body was found;

• An unidentified woman whose body was found in a field in July 2017;

• Shade Schuler, 22, who was found dead in a west Dallas field July 29, 2015.

Police in June arrested a 33-year-old Dallas man in Booker’s killing, charging him with murder in her death, along with two other killings. Later that month, authorities arrested a 22-year-old man in Lindsey’s death. He, too, was charged with murder.

Though Dallas police said they were treating Friday’s case as a hate crime, Texas is one of 13 states with hate crime laws that cover sexual orientation, but not gender identity, according to the nonprofit think tank Movement Advancement Project.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman has been trying to add transgender protections to the state’s hate crime law for more than a decade. Though Coleman’s most recent attempt, introduced a week after the nonfatal attack on Booker, failed to make it out of committee, the bill’s co-sponsor said it still amounted to a victory.

“While it may seem like a small, procedural step, hearing Rep. Coleman’s bill was a meaningful leap forward in the struggle for transgender rights, recognition, and equality in Texas. Because of Rep. Coleman’s leadership, a committee heard testimony directly from trans Texans, including stories about fearing for their safety every day,” said state Rep. Jessica Gonzalez, vice chairwoman of the state House’s LGBTQ caucus.

Following the death of Ja’leyah-Jamar in Kansas City, Kansas, on Sept. 13, Human Rights Campaign reported that she was 19th transgender victim to die violently in the United States this year. There were 26 such deaths in 2018, HRC said. The majority of victims are women who are black, the organization said.

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