There has been another violent assault on a transgender woman in Portland, Ore., the second within a week, and police are investigating it as a bias crime.
Atlas Marshall said she and two friends were attacked in a downtown parking lot near some food carts September 12. They approached a group of men to ask for cigarettes, and one of the men began to confront Marshall.
“Very quickly you could tell that he had noticed that I am trans,” she told Portland TV station KATU this week. “He started calling me all kind of slurs and homophobic and transphobic things. He just got more and more escalated and continued to say more and more things that were very much like hate speech. Then he started to approach me. Then he and his friend attacked me.”
They pinned her to the ground and beat her, leaving her bloody and bruised, she said. Her friend Austin Schuchard came to her aid, pulling one of the men off her, but sustained a broken nose and black eye in the melee before the attackers fled, according to another Portland station, KGW.
“It’s been very emotional,” Schuchard told KGW. “I’ve never really experienced, firsthand, hate like this before.”
The attack came just six days after another Portland trans woman, Lyft driver Marla Standing-Owl, was beaten by a passenger who used anti-trans language toward her. Police are treating that incident as a bias crime as well.
The Portland Police Bureau is asking for the public’s help in investigating the September 12 incident. “Investigators are requesting that if anyone was a witness to this incident and has not spoken to police, has information about it, or video evidence, to contact Detective Shaye Samora at [email protected] or 503-823-0416 and reference Case #19-314989,” reads a statement from the department.
Constant reports of violence against our community are difficult to read, especially as we continue to face historic rates. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach out to the Anti-Violence Project’s free bilingual (English/Spanish) national hotline at (212) 714-1141 or report online for support.