Man charged with hate crime after beating two transgender women
A man has been charged with hate crime after brutally attacking two transgender women in New York.
The two women were in the Jackson Heights neighbourhood on St. Patricks Day when a man began shouting abusive homophobic slurs at them.
He then attacked one of the women, throwing her to the ground and punching her repeatedly. He momentarily left the scene but came back with a cane which he used to hit the other women, who he also punched in the face a number of times.
The victims were left with cuts and bruises on their faces, and one suffered a broken ankle.
38-year-old Patrick O’Meara was arrested for the crime and charged with assault and hate crime.
O’Meara has been arrested eight times in the past. He is being held on bail for $2,500.
The attack has been described as horrifying, and local campaigners have pledged to send a message that LGBT violence is not welcome in the neighbourhood, or anywhere else in New York City.
Bianey García, an LGBTQ Justice organiser at Make the Road New York, said: “We are horrified that transgender individuals in our community have suffered yet another hate attack.”
“We will continue to organise in our communities and send the message that Jackson Heights and New York City must welcome and embrace all of us, and that hate has no place in our neighbourhood and our City,” Garcia added.
More from PinkNews
O’Meara will appear in court at the end of the month, when the trial is due to begin.
At least seven trans women have been killed in the US so far this year as a result of trans violence – including a horrifying total of four trans black women murdered in just one week.
Last year there were 23 homicides of trans and gender nonconforming people, the highest figure on record.
Trans women are being targeted at a higher figure in 2017 than in past years, according to The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programmes.
Activists are blaming the Trump administration, as trans people across the US have become the victims of anti-equality policies introduced by Donald Trump.