Police in Dallas, Texas have arrested a man in connection with the brutal beating of Muhlaysia Booker, a 23-year-old transgender woman.
According to Refinery29, Thomas is facing charges of aggravated assault and had his bond set at $75,000. Gender identity is not covered under Texas’ hate crime laws, however, the Dallas Police Department is still looking into the possibility as federal law does allow for penalties for violence against trans folk.
The incident drew outrage from the community, including Dallas Mike Rawlings who issued a blistering statement denouncing the attack and calling it “mob violence.”
“I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman,” Rawlings said. “Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior.”
The attack began after Booker was reportedly involved in a minor traffic accident at an apartment complex on Friday.
A verbal argument over the accident rapidly deteriorated.
As a crowd gathered around the altercation, Thomas was offered $200 to beat her, police say.
In the footage posted online, a man dressed in white is seen attacking Booker, dragging her to the ground. As Booker tries to ward off the blows, more people join in the brutal attack, kicking and stomping on her.
Booker reportedly knew her assailants. Some of them reportedly used homophobic slurs during the attack.
The video ends with three women helping Booker to safety.
Booker sustained serious injuries, including a concussion and a fractured wrist, CBS reports.
Meanwhile, Booker’s father, Pierre Booker, called his daughter’s attackers “cowards,” noting that his daughter is “very traumatized” from the incident.
It is currently unclear if more arrests will be made in the incident.