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Hate crime indictment of teens in videotaped attack on trangender woman at Md. McDonald's

Suspects in beating of transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis could face hate crime charges
Two teens are charged with a hate crime for attack on transgender woman (in blue) at a Maryland McDonald's CBS/WJZ/YouTube

(CBS/WJZ/AP) BALTIMORE - Eighteen-year-old Teonna Brown and a 14-year-old girl are facing hate crime charges in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman, at a McDonald's. The attack was caught on video and posted online.

Baltimore County's state attorney spent weeks deciding whether to file hate crime charges in connection with the attack. Now the two teens have been indicted, reports CBS affiliate WJZ.

Polis says she was targeted for being transgender. In the video she appears to have had a seizure after being kicked and punched in the head.

"Be who you are and go as you are, but people don't want this to happen. In this century, it sickens me that it has to come down to this result," said Polis to the station.

Brown is indicted on hate crime charges, in addition to the several assault charges she already faced. The 14-year-old who police say participated in the attack, faces the same charges in juvenile court, reports WJZ.

In a statement, Brown's attorney says his client maintains her innocence, claiming what happened was in self-defense, according to the station.

Browns mother recently defended her daughter, but she did not want her identity revealed.

"Teonna has her moments, but she doesn't hate people. She could have a blow out argument with you today and tomorrow she'd be sitting on the phone talking to you, laughing," said Brown's mother to WJZ.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley issued a statement Tuesday about the hate crime charge.

"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," O'Malley said, reports the station. 

A McDonald's employee who stood by and videotaped the attack has since been fired.

More on Crimesider
April 26, 2011 - Suspects in beating of transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis could face hate crime chargesApril 25, 2011 - Transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis calls Md. McDonald's attack hate crime

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