Investigators are recommending dropping Hate crime charges against four youth who beat a Seattle transgender woman and are considering charges against her according to the Seattle Times..
After reviewing video from the bus they have determined that she was the aggressor in an “unprovoked attack,” according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Originally, investigators with the sheriff’s office considered the woman to be the victim and the teens to be the aggressors, spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott said in a statement on Friday.
The woman was chased down and beaten after she got off the King County Metro bus at South 180th Street and Andover Park West in Tukwila on Dec. 10. Some onlookers heard slurs directed at the woman’s gender identity and the four teens were booked into the youth detention center on investigation of assault and malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime statute.
Now, the woman also faces an assault charge, Abbott said.
The woman had said that she was threatened by the teens before they all got on the bus. She told police that she used the pepper spray to ‘neutralize’ a perceived threat. But the bus video shows her standing up, walking to the back of the bus and without provocation using the pepper spray.
He said investigators are not recommending the juveniles be charged with malicious harassment because, while witnesses did hear pejorative comments about the woman’s gender identity, the motive for the assault was more likely retaliation for the pepper-spray assault and not her gender expression.
The King County Sheriff’s Office released Metro bus video on Friday of a woman allegedly using pepper spray on four teenage passengers Dec. 10 in Tukwila. The teens later beat the woman after getting off the bus, police said.