A video that has garnered attention within the LGBT community appears to show a Baltimore County transgender woman being assaulted physically by two patrons of McDonalds on Monday, April 18, as employees from the restaurant stood by, one of them recording the incident on a portable phone.
The Bilerico Project reported on the video today, which shows the woman battered after being kicked, punched and dragged on the floor. The video of the incident was posted by the McDonald's employee on a web site called "World Star hip Hop.com."
Local transgender activist Dana Beyer expressed outrage about the incident, noting one immediate impact of the departure earlier today of Equality Maryland's executive director, Morgan Meneses-Sheets.
"The problem is that there is no executive director to deal with this," she says. "There's no one to go to. There's certainly no functional leader in the LGBT [Maryland] community. That's problematic because this is what the organization is supposed to be dealing with."
According to Bilerico, the attack occured at the McDonald's in Rosedale, in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave. in Baltimore County.
Bill Browning at Bilerico wrote, "While you can see the manager yelling stop at the two women attacking the customer, none of the other employees even try to intervene or keep the women from dragging the victim across the restaurant floor. Instead, it's the elderly female customer that seems to do the most to help. The manager and employees simply watch as the victim starts to have a seizure and offer no help whatsoever."
[UPDATE: In a statement issued to Metro Weekly, Equality Maryland's board president Chuck Butler said the organization is saddened by the "senseless violence."
"No person ever deserves to be a victim of violence regardless of their gender identity or presentation," he said.
"We encourage the State's Attorney General to investigate this as a hate crime based on gender identity. We are encouraged that McDonald's is working with local police to investigate this incident, and hope that the company will follow-up with appropriate disciplinary action against any employees involved. We remain committed to advancing gender identity protections for the entire state of Maryland and will continue to work with local organizations and legislators to advance these protections."
"Equality Maryland, with the Transgender Education Project will work to empower the transgender community as the educational voice of their community and develop trainings and support programs in coalition with state and national transgender organizations on a broad range of topics that include support and resource information for transgender Marylanders. The project will continue to hold educational forums for the population at large." ]