A transgender woman who was violently beaten by a mob of people in Dallas, Texas, earlier this month has spoken out publicly for the first time since she was attacked.
Speaking to supporters outside the headquarters of Abounding Prosperity, a local LGBTQ service provider, 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker thanked the community for its support during a difficult time and demanded justice be carried out against her attackers.
Booker struggled through tears as she read a prepared statement.
“This time it was me. The next time could be someone else close to you,” she said. “This time I can stand before you, where as in other scenarios we are at a memorial. Our time to seek justice is now. If not now, when?”
Police have arrested one suspect, 29-year-old Edward Thomas, who they allege is the primary assailant beating Booker in the video, on a charged of aggravated assault.
Police say that the assault is being investigated as a possible hate crime, reports Dallas-Fort Worth’s NBC 5. They are still investigating to see if they can identify others from the video.
Police say the assault took place outside an apartment complex following an altercation between Booker and another driver.
They claim Booker accidentally backed into a white car, whose owner chased her down and demanded she pay for the damage.
Police have previously claimed that Thomas was offered $200 by the driver of the car to beat Booker, at which point Thomas and several others allegedly beat and kicked Booker, who eventually lost consciousness. Her body was carried away by several women.
Booker was later treated for her injuries, which included facial bruises and a broken wrist.