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Md. woman charged in transgender assault

April 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM

BALTIMORE, April 25 (UPI) -- A Maryland woman was charged with assault in the beating of a transgender woman at a MacDonald's amid calls for the incident to be investigated as a hate crime.

Teonna Monae Brown of Rosedale was charged in the attack on Chrissy Lee Polis at a Rosedale MacDonald's that was videotaped and uploaded to various Web sites, The Baltimore Sun reported Sunday.

Brown, arrested Friday, was charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault and remains in custody, the newspaper said.

The Baltimore County state's attorney office said it would gather additional evidence to determine whether the April 18 assault can be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Sandy Rawls, founding director of Trans-United, a Baltimore transgender support group, said she was organizing a rally at the McDonald's in Rosedale to raise awareness of hate crimes against the transgendered.

"When people see us, they don't understand us. So it's an educational problem," said Rawls, a transsexual woman who lives about a mile from the McDonald's.

She also put the blame on what she called "a violent culture."

"'Love thy neighbor' is fading," she said.

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