Teonna Monae Brown has been indicted on
five charges in connection with the April 18 beating of Chrissy Lee
Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, at a suburban Baltimore
A grand jury on Monday charged Brown
with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and a hate crime for
the attack on Polis. Two additional second-degree assault charges
stemming from attacking two bystanders who attempted to intervene
were also introduced.
A 3-minute video allegedly showing
Polis being viciously kicked, punched and dragged by Brown and a
14-year-old girl went viral last month. In the video, one employee
and a patron attempt to intervene, but most of the witnesses stand
idly by and several men can be heard laughing in the background.
Toward the end of the video, Polis appears to suffer a seizure after
one of the suspects kicks her in the head.
The name of the second suspect charged
in the attack has not been released because the charges were filed in
Polis told the Baltimore Sun
that the attack was “definitely a hate crime.”
“They said, 'That's a dude, that's a
dude and she's in the female bathroom,'” said Polis. “They spit
in my face.”
“I knew they were taping me; I told
the guy to stop,” she added. “They didn't help me. They didn't
do nothing for me.”
Governor Martin O'Malley called the
crime “heinous” in a statement.
“I want to commend Baltimore County
State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger for using every available
means to prosecute the heinous beating of Chrissy Lee Polis last
month,” he said.
“Even with Maryland's 'hate crimes'
law, it is clear that more must be done to protect the rights and
dignity of transgendered people. In the struggle for justice and
equality for all, I'm committed to working with the Maryland General
Assembly during the next legislative session to increase awareness
and provide even greater protections for transgendered people,”
O'Malley added, most
likely a reference to a transgender protections bill that died last
month in the Maryland Senate.
The video was taken down from YouTube
by site administrators, who said it violated the site's policies, but
returned on several other sites, including the popular Drudge Report
Star Hip Hop.
According to the police report, the
suspects said the fight was “over using a bathroom.”