Transgender assaulted by "crowd" killed last month in Texas


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By Tim Stelloh

A transgender woman who was assaulted in Texas last month during a so-called "act of violence by the mob" was found dead on Saturday, authorities said.

Dallas Police Lieutenant Vincent Weddington said that 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker was found face down on a street northeast of downtown Dallas in the morning.

Weddington said the police had found her body after responding to information reporting a shootout. He attributed Booker's death to "homicidal violence" without giving further details.

Deputy Chief Avery Moore said she did not know if she had been the target of a hate crime, which the Dallas Police Department said was possible.

"I have no reason to say it or not," Moore told reporters.

Authorities and relatives claimed that Booker had been beaten up to faint and had called derogatory names as a result of a small road accident recorded on April 12 on a video and posted on Facebook.

The department asked the FBI to investigate the beating as a so-called hate crime, reported NBC Dallas-Forth Worth. The agency confirmed the request but did not say whether it had opened a formal investigation, the station said.

Edward Thomas, 29, was charged with assault during the incident and later acknowledged his role in the beating, but denied using insults, according to the channel.

Edward ThomasDallas County Prison via AP

Weddington said there was no evidence linking Booker's murder, Thomas, who is not being held in jail. He did not identify any other possible suspects.

He added that the authorities were still trying to identify those who had participated in Booker's beating last month and encouraged people with information to share it with the investigators.

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