Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman who was attacked in a Dallas parking lot in April, was found fatally shot Saturday.
In a press conference Sunday, MajorVincent Weddington said the body of the victim was found on a street in Far East Dallas on Saturday morning. The responding officers found the woman with a gunshot wound “lying face down in the street, deceased from homicidal violence.” The woman was identified Sunday.
"We recognize that hate crimes, if you will, are a serious topic. We at the Dallas Police Department take them serious,” he said.
In April, a video showing 23-year-old Booker being beaten and kicked by a group of people went viral, causing outrage. The video showed Booker addressing an angry mob before an African-American man threwher to the ground and startedbeating her. The man was identified as 29-year-old Edward Dominic Thomas. He wastaken into custody two days after the attack and charged with aggravated assault.
Meanwhile, Booker, who was injured in the attack, thanked her supporters saying, “I love yall sooo much thank you so much it is a blessing being lucky enough to witness the love and respect I’m getting and thank you to all my genuine friends that been with me through this journey and knowing the real me knowing nobody deserves that I appreciate it so much but just wait on it.”
The attack caused public outrage and was also condemned by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings who said, “Chief Hall alerted me this morning to the assault at the Royal Crest Apartments and I have seen a video of what happened. I am extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman… Those who did this do not represent how Dallasites feel about our thriving LGBTQ community. We will not stand for this kind of behavior.”
In the press conference Sunday, Weddington said Thomas was no longer in police custody, however, there was no evidence to prove he had a role in the murder. He also declined to say if Booker had reported receiving death threats post the April attack.
Dallas police, however, said 23 homicides were reported on Monday out of which 18 were solved.
“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,” Assistant Chief Avery Moore said.
This is a representational image showing a crime scene tape. Photo: Getty Images/Jonathan Alcorn
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