Updated: 4/15/19 10:30 a.m.
Edward Thomas, 29, was arrested over the weekend by Dallas police in connection to a brutal attack of a transgender woman which was captured on video and later uploaded online.
The attack happened in broad daylight in front of a crowd of people in a Dallas neighborhood.
A purported video of the brutal attack was posted on Facebook, showing an outraged man in a white shirt viciously beating the woman to death till she nearly became unconsciousness, all while a crowd of people stood around and watched while shouting homophobic slurs.
Eventually, several women carried the victim’s limp body to safety.
On Sunday, a Dallas police spokesman said the woman’s identity would not be released.
Investigators mentioned that the woman has already reported the assault Friday night while receiving treatment in the hospital. She explained to officers the the attack took place earlier Friday after she was involved in a minor traffic accident near an apartment complex in the southern part of Dallas, according to police statements released on Saturday.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings stated that he is “extremely angry about what appears to be mob violence against this woman” and that those responsible do not represent how most residents feel about the city’s “thriving LGBTQ community.”
“I am in contact with (Police Chief U. Renee Hall), and she assured me that the Dallas Police Department is fully investigating, including the possibility that this was a hate crime,” Rawlings, who has viewed the video, mentioned in a public statement on Saturday.
According to legal reports, last November, the FBI reported that a total of 7,175 hate crimes were committed in the United States back in 2017, which is one of the most recent years for which the agency had compiled data. Of those 7,175 crimes, 1,130 were based on sexual orientation bias and 119 on gender identity bias. A 5% increase in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation bias and a 4% percent decrease in relation to hate crimes motivated by gender identity bias were also shown in the data. Of crimes motivated by gender identity bias, 106 of those crimes are targeted transgender people, making it a 1% increase from 2016.