The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is investigating the case of a transgender woman who was hospitalized after being stabbed up to 40 times. The attack occurred around 1 a.m. Friday, June 21, in the 3000 block of Stanton Road SE.
The attack happened in an abandoned house, where the victim was stabbed repeatedly, suffering injuries to her chest, back and hands, including at least one stab wound to her lungs, according to transgender activist Earline Budd, who interacted the victim through Budd’s work at Transgender Health Empowerment, a local transgender services and advocacy agency. The victim was transported to Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., where she remains in serious but stable condition.
Budd said the victim told her that she knew the person who attacked her and was able to give police a description.
Budd told Metro Weekly the victim’s father claimed he was told by police that an arrest had been made in the case, but Metropolitan Police Department spokesman has advised Metro Weekly that there was no record of any arrest related to the stabbing.
Budd said she was upset that MPD officials did not issue a public announcement about the incident by either press release or community listserv, to warn the public about an attack directed against a transgender woman. She said she believes the MPD’s Critical Incident Team, which includes police and community activists concerned with anti-LGBT violence, needs to revisit its protocols regarding how the community is notified of such incidents.
”I couldn’t understand how MPD couldn’t issue an announcement,” Budd said. ”The community needs to know that something like this took place, that it was a transgender woman [attacked], or that the man was possibly captured.”
A member of the Critical Incident Team told Metro Weekly that an alert was sent to team members regarding the incident. There was no bulletin or press release regarding the incident, save for a short listing on a daily report from the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) that mentioned a stabbing had taken place, but made no mention of the victim being transgender.
Budd said that the larger community needs to be informed through as many channels as possible as there are many transgender women who do not have Internet access, but may see something if it is publicized on TV or print media. She said that transgender people need to be warned to exercise caution.
Budd noted, however, that MPD in the past has been very accessible to members of the community, even calling to notify her when a transgender woman in Southeast D.C. took her life last Sunday.
”They called me and let me know that a transgender woman had committed suicide,” Budd said. ”I appreciated that. But it shouldn’t be that a woman has to be stabbed nearly 40 times before they notify the community.”
Budd said that although MPD has generally been a good partner to work with, it has only told activists that the case is under investigation. She pointed to other announcements that MPD had sent out regarding crimes, such as a stabbing in the Petworth neighborhood, saying she was puzzled why similar alerts were not issued in this instance.
”They can’t justify this,” Budd said of MPD’s community response to this recent stabbing. ”They really owe us an apology.”
UPDATE, Monday, June 24, 3:32 p.m.: MPD spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said this afternoon that a suspect has been arrested, but on charges unrelated to the Stanton Road incident. Crump declined to comment on whether the suspect has been charged in the stabbing, saying only that the case is still an open investigation.
Transgender activist Ruby Corado, of Casa Ruby, told Metro Weekly Monday that the victim remains in serious condition, but that her spirits are improving thanks to well wishes and encouragement she has received from the community.
“It’s a real miracle that she’s alive,” Corado said. “But she’s very strong.”