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Police Investigating Whether Man Who Beat Transgender Woman Was Paid For Attack

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Police are investigating whether a man in custody for assaulting a transgender woman in Dallas was paid to carry out the assault.

Activists and community members are calling for justice after Muhlaysia Booker's attack.

Dallas police arrested Edward Thomas.

But activists want more people to speak on behalf of Booker.
Muhlaysia Booker
Muhlaysia Booker (Credit: Booker Family)
Activists spoke out at the apartment complex Monday morning. They expressed their disgust not only against the person who attacked Booker but the onlookers who stood by and let it happen.

A bystander recorded cell phone video Friday, as Booker lay on the ground while men punched and kicked her and hit her with a brick. The video pans out as a crowd is seen standing around watching and shouting. The attack on the 23-year-old doesn't end until several women intervene and drag her to safety.

Booker was involved in a minor crash in the parking lot of the Royal Crest Apartments in south Dallas just before the attack.

Booker is a transgender woman and police say the people who hit her shouted homophobic slurs during the attack.

Booker's father told CBS 11 News his daughter went to the hospital with injuries to her face and has a broken wrist. She is recovering at home.
The concern from those who spoke at the apartment complex on Monday is that Booker could have been killed while others stood idly by.
"I want to say to those who live in the Royal Crest community, y'all are better than this. This act of mob violence was vicious and it was uncalled for," said neighbor Olinka Green.
Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas (Credit: Dallas County Jail)
Late Sunday night, Dallas police arrested 29-year-old Edward Thomas and charged him with aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.  He remains in the Dallas County Jail on $75,000 bond.
Dallas police are investigating this attack as a hate crime. Designating the offense as a hate crime doesn't mean Thomas will face additional charges, but if it's determined Booker's gender played a factor in the attack the punishment for those found guilty would be more severe.
Monday afternoon management at the Royal Crest Apartments issued the following statement --

"We at Royal Crest Apartments are very disturbed by the video of the violent incident that occurred near our property on Friday. We strongly condemn any actions of violence or discrimination. While neither the victim nor the attackers were residents of the property, and the incident appears to have begun with a traffic incident, we are working to obtain all available surveillance video to assist the Dallas Police Department in their ongoing investigation. We are grateful for Dallas Police Department's diligent arrest of the suspect. Our prayers are with the victim, and we will continue to work with law enforcement to prevent violence in our nearby communities."

Dallas police stressed to CBS 11 that the investigation is ongoing and would not confirm nor deny if they're looking at any other suspects.
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