Video of a transgender woman being beaten by two teenagers in Maryland has gone viral on the Web. The victim, 22-year-old Chrissy Lee Polis, who is transgender, told the Baltimore Sun that the incident started as she was trying to use the restroom at the McDonald's in Rosedale, Md. Apparently the teen girls were upset that Polis was using the women's bathroom.
Teonna Monae Brown of the 2000 block of Kelbourne Road in Rosedale was charged in the attack on Polis. The incident was videotaped and went viral online late last week, with hundreds of thousands of views on various websites. The video shows Polis, 22, being kicked and punched in the head by two people until she appears to have a seizure. While one employee and a patron try to intervene, others can be seen standing and watching, and some are laughing.
Brown, who was arrested Friday, has been charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. She remains at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $150,000 bond. A 14-year-old girl has also been charged in the attack, but her name has not been released because the charges were filed in juvenile court. Another woman filed assault charges against Brown in July, which prosecutors dropped three months later.
Scott Shellenberger, the state's attorney for Baltimore County, has said his office plans to gather additional evidence to determine whether the April 18 attack on Polis can be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Sandy Rawls, founding director of Trans-United, a Baltimore-based group that fights discrimination against transgender people, said people hate what they do not understand. "When people see us, they don't understand us. So it's an educational problem," said Rawls, a transsexual woman who lives about a mile from the McDonald's. She also blamed "a violent culture." A rally is being held today at the McDonald's where the attack occurred to raise awareness of the issue.
More than that needs to happen to stop this cycle of hate that is permeating society. In response to their frustration, the only thing the teens could think to do was to attack Polis? We guess minding their business was too much for them. Now they will find out that there are consequences for every action, like the McDonald's employees who laughed and failed to intervene in the attack. Did we mention that the employees told the attackers to run to avoid getting in trouble after the police were called? Shaking our heads over here at The Root.
Read more at the Baltimore Sun. Watch video of Polis' version of what happened below:
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