Transgender Woman Speaks Publicly for 1st Time Since Beating in Texas - NBC Chicago
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Transgender Woman Speaks Publicly for 1st Time Since Beating in Texas

Muhlaysia Booker was attacked in an assault caught on camera April 12

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    For the first time, the transgender woman who was violently beaten in Dallas, Texas earlier this month is speaking publicly about what happened.

    The attack on 23-year-old Muhlaysia Booker is being investigated as a hate crime.

    Saturday, she tearfully thanked supporters and demanded justice at a rally and press conference.

    It was held outside Abounding Prosperity, Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit that provides health, social and economic services, particularly to gay and bisexual men, transgender women and their families.

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    "This time it was me. The next time could be someone else close to you," Booker said.

    Booker was brutally beaten on April 12 outside Royal Crest Apartments in southeast Dallas.

    Police said Booker was behind the wheel of a dark-colored vehicle when she accidentally backed into a white car.

    Police said the man she hit chased her down and demanded she pay for the damage.

    Minutes later, cell phone video showed a crowd gathered around Booker.

    Police said the man she hit offered others $200 to beat Booker.

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    The video showed Booker being punched and kicked as she tried to protect herself on the ground.

    The video ended with a group of women carrying Booker to safety.

    She suffered a swollen face and broken wrist.

    Booker's wrist was bandaged at Saturday's rally. She was visibly shaken as she took the stage to speak and needed support to get through a prepared statement.

    "This time I can stand before you, where as in other scenarios we are at a memorial. Our time to seek justice is now. If not now, when?" Booker asked.

    At the rally, there were activists, members of the LGBTQ community and Dallas police who issued a call to action.

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    "The more shocking [thing] to me, as a police officer, is the community that stood around and did nothing," Maj. Elaine Page said. "The community needs to step up."

    Edward Thomas, 29, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

    He remains in the Dallas County jail on a $75,000 bond.

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    The investigation is ongoing.