Not again. On April 18th, Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22 year-old transgendered woman, was attacked in a Baltimore County McDonald’s after coming out of the restroom. One report says one of the attackers accused Polis of trying to talk to “her man.” The entire beating was caught on video by a McDonald’s employee who was laughing as he recorded the horrific scene. ABC reports that 18 year-old Teonna Monae Brown has been charged with felony assault; the other girl, who is not being identified because she’s 14, has been charged as a juvenile.
Perhaps the most shocking part of this story is not that the video went viral last week — with more than 500,000 views on one site alone — but that the people in the Maryland McDonald’s let the fight happen, even to the point where voices can be heard telling the attackers to leave because the cops were coming. Polis told the Baltimore Sun, “Everybody sat there in that McDonald’s and watched me get hurt. And nobody did nothing at all. Nobody.” Eventually someone did help. A woman broke up the fight and then a McDonald’s staff member also intervened. The employee who shot the video was fired, and McDonald’s released a statement that reads in part: “there’s no room for violence under the golden arches, and we strongly condemn this brutal assault.”
Equality Maryland is calling the attack a hate crime, saying, “We encourage the State’s Attorney General to investigate this as a hate crime based on gender identity.” The Baltimore Sun notes that Equality Maryland “fought unsuccessfully in the past legislative session for greater protections for transgender individuals,” making this latest tragedy yet another piece of evidence for stronger legislation. However, it is still unclear if the girls attacked Polis because she is transgendered or because she posed a threat. What is clear is that a woman was attacked in public and nobody did anything. Nobody.