A Transgender Woman Who Was Attacked in Dallas Last Month Has Been Found Dead

When a transgender woman was attacked in a Dallas parking lot in April, cellphone camera footage of the episode made national headlines, and the police investigated it as a possible hate crime.

A month later, on Sunday, the Dallas Police Department announced that the woman, Muhlaysia Booker, 23, had been shot and killed. The police said it had no evidence linking the killing to the earlier attack.

At a news conference, Maj. Vincent Weddington said that officers found Ms. Booker shortly before 7 a.m. on Saturday, and that her identity was confirmed on Sunday. They had been responding to a report of a shooting and found Ms. Booker “lying facedown in the street, deceased from homicidal violence,” he said.

Major Weddington added that Edward Thomas, the man who was arrested after he was filmed repeatedly punching Ms. Booker last month, was no longer in police custody, but that there was no indication he was linked to the killing.

Last month’s attack took place on April 12, shortly after Ms. Booker was involved in an automobile accident in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

A video of the episode showed a man the authorities identified as Mr. Thomas repeatedly punching a woman on the ground as she struggled. Other men in the crowd kicked her before a group of women helped her get away. The police said that people in the crowd shouted anti-gay slurs during the beating, and that Ms. Booker was hospitalized with a concussion and a fractured wrist.

Attacks on transgender people have been rising, according to advocacy groups. At least 26 transgender people were killed in the United States last year, most of them black transgender women, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. The group has listed three transgender people who were killed in 2019 — not including Ms. Booker — and all were black women who were fatally shot.

Those numbers may understate the problem because local officials are not required to report such killings to any central database, and because the police sometimes release incorrect names or genders, making it difficult to know that a homicide victim was transgender.

At a news conference after she was attacked last month, Ms. Booker stood on a podium and faced a group of supporters, several of whom carried signs in support of transgender people.

“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the city of Dallas,” Ms. Booker said.

“This time, I can stand before you,” she added. “Whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”


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