Several hundred people of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations on Monday rallied outside the McDonald’s restaurant where a transgendered woman was brutally beaten on April 18.
The rally drew together representatives of transgender, civil-rights and faith-based communities in a call to action to stop violence against all people, reported the Baltimore Sun.
Chrissy Lee Polis was attacked when she got into a confrontation with two female patrons over use of the women’s restroom. Only one person, a 55-year-old woman tried to help Polis, others stood and watched the attack, some laughing, while an employee used his cell phone’s video camera to record the assault.
At the rally Monday night, the victim’s family thanked the woman who stepped in and tried to help.
“I’ll never forget you for this,” Renee Polis told Vicky Thoms, who was hit in the face as she stepped between Chrissy Polis and the two teens who were caught on video punching and kicking Polis, and dragging her by her hair until Polis appears to have a seizure.
Caroline Temmermand, one of the organizers of the rally, said, “We want that hatred and bigotry to end at any level that it shows up.”
Temmermand and other gay rights advocates at the rally say Maryland lawmakers need to pass laws that specifically protect transgendered people. A bill that would have provided such protections died in the Maryland State Senate earlier this month.
Teonna Monae Brown, 18, was charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault in the attack on Polis. A second suspect, a 14-year-old girl was also charged in the attack, but her name has not been released because charges were filed in juvenile court.
According to police, Brown was arrested last July for allegedly attacking a mother after a dispute inside the same McDonald’s.
Police have not yet determined whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the attack as a hate crime.