Who Killed Muhlasia Booker? New Details On The Brutal Death Of Dallas Transgender Woman

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Who Killed Muhlasia Booker? New Details On The Brutal Death Of Dallas Transgender Woman

Muhlaysia Booker, a trans woman from Texas who gained national attention after surviving an assault in April, has died. She was found dead of a gunshot wound over the weekend and police are treating it as a homicide. In April, Booker was beaten by several men after a minor traffic accident. The 23-year-old sustained multiple injuries but ultimately survived the attack. The man who beat her is awaiting prosecution for the assault. His lawyer claims he had nothing to do with Booker’s death. Police are actively looking for Booker's murderer and don't believe it is the same man. Who killed Muhlaysia Booker? Read on for details.

1. Prior assault

Booker was involved in a minor traffic accident in April. The driver of the car she damaged pulled a gun on her and refuse to let her leave until she paid him for the damage to his vehicle. Cell photo video footage shows that someone in the crowd then offered the man $200 if he would beat Booker, which he and other members of the gathered crowd did, including one person stomping on her head as the crowd around them watched and yelled. Booker suffered a concussion, fractured wrist and other injuries. Afterward, Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested and jailed on a charge of aggravated assault, according to CBS News reporting. Police are still investigating that incident, with Dallas police telling reporters: "We're still attempting to identify other people that were seen assaulting Muhlaysia in the video.” Police were investigating whether the crime could be prosecuted under federal hate crime statues.

Booker was assaulted because she was trans.

2. Murder

On May 18, CBS reported that police responded to a shooting call at around 6:40 a.m. near a golf course. There had been reports of shots fired and when authorities arrived on the scene, they found Booker, facedown, dead of a gunshot wound. No suspects have been identified at this time.

Trans people face violence all over the country.

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3. Not the first time

Jessica Anderson, a friend of Booker’s, said that the April assault wasn’t the first time that Booker had faced violence. Anderson told the New York Times: “She was so tired of getting beaten down. Tired of not being able to be who she wanted to be.” Anderson went on to say: “She had a heart of gold. She didn’t want to experience all of this tragic stuff, but she wanted everyone to pay attention to the injustice.”

Booker had been assaulted and harassed in the past.

4. Links?

Police are not saying that there is a link between the previous assault on Booker and her homicide this week. However, Assistant Chief Avery Moore made it abundantly clear that he does not intend to gloss over the murder of a trans woman simply because violence against trans women is so common, saying "It is the DPD policy that we actively pursue murder suspects. We as a department hold human life dearly and precious as should everybody but we recognize not everybody does. So speaking directly to them — I want you to know that the DPD has never tolerated murder and we never will so understand that we will actively, aggressively pursue you. We need the help of the community and that will be our directive.” Meanwhile, the man responsible for beating booker in April is out of jail and his lawyer issues a statement saying that he "had absolutely nothing to do with" Booker's death, according to Buzzfeed.

Police are still searching for the murderer.

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5. Violence against trans folks

Transgender individuals face a disproportionate risk of violence, simply because of their gender identity. Transwomen of color are at great risk. The New York Times reports that so far this year, five trans women of color have been murdered, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The ACLU reports that as many as one in four trans people have been assaulted because they are trans. Time magazine reports that in November, the FBI reported that 7,175 hate crimes were committed in the United States in 2017.1,130 of those were based on sexual orientation bias and 119 on gender identity bias. Of crimes motivated by gender identity bias, 106 targeted transgender people, a 1% increase from 2016.

Multiple trans women have been murdered just in 2019.

Police say anyone with information about Booker's death can call Detective David Grubbs at 214-671-3675 or email david.grubbsjr@dallascityhall.com.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.