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Transgender attack in Hollywood investigated as hate crime

Transgender attack

The Los Angeles Police Department headquarters in downtown L.A. as seen on August 6. Photo: Richard Grant/Q Voice News

HOLLYWOOD —Los Angeles police chief Michael Moore was questioned during a police commission meeting about the department’s actions and response time to an attack against three transgender women that is being investigated as a hate crime.

About 2:15 a.m. Monday morning, the women were assaulted and robbed in the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard near Wilcox Avenue, according to a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department.

The women are social media influencers: Eden the Doll, who has 430,000 Instagram followers, and Jaslene Whiterose, and Joslyn Flawless, who also have large followings.

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*****This happened in Hollywood to these women not me and I’m sharing because I want to uplift their stories.*******

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A post shared by Indya Moore (@indyamoore) on

 

Transgender women attacked

The violent incident was partially captured on videos that were later reposted on Instagram by the women.

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In the videos, which have gone viral, the man threatens Flawless with a metal bar and robs her. He then hits Whiterose over the head with an object.

Bystanders in the videos taunt and laugh at the women.

The man approached the victims and offered to buy them merchandise from a shop on Hollywood Boulevard. But he then refused to pay for the merchandise, and the victims left, police said.

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The man demanded Flawless’ shoes and bracelet as he threatened her with the metal bar. He then grabbed Flawless by the hand and led her away, though she was able to escape, police said.

The man also struck Whiterose with a bottle. At the same time, he made “derogatory remarks” about their gender identity, police said.

The women’s purses, cellphones, and money were also taken, police said.

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Nobody has been arrested yet, but police have released a photo of the suspect.

Transgender attack Hollywood

Los Angeles police say this man is a suspect in the Monday morning attack on three transgender women in Hollywood. Photo: Los Angeles Police Department.

Police chief addresses attack

On Tuesday, during a virtual meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission, several members of the public, who had called into the meeting, asked about the incident. They also demanded police officials be more transparent about the incident.

For example, they want to know why an officer, who was captured on video, drove by the scene and didn’t stop.

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Commission Vice President Shane Murphy Goldsmith, who identifies as lesbian, also asked about the encounter.

An officer in a squad car did pass the scene with its lights turned on, en route to an emergency call, Moore said.

Some time passed before an officer stopped where the women were attacked.

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Police investigation

Moore said he will find out what call the officer was responding to, whether the officer realized what was happening to the women as he passed by, whether the officer alerted dispatch to the incident, and “whether or not we took appropriate action.”

Moore said the investigation also will include a review of body-worn camera footage to determine whether officers followed procedures.

Goldsmith asked for additional updates from Moore when more is known about the case, and Moore promised to comply.

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Anyone with information about the attack should contact detectives at 213-972-2934 or send anonymous tips to 800-222-8477.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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