On Sunday August 16th, 2020, Instagram influencer Eden the Doll and her friends Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene White Rose were robbed, beaten, and chased through the streets of Hollywood.
The incident began when the women were waiting for an Uber and one of the men stole Eden’s phone. The group started throwing objects at the women as they tried to retrieve the phone and mocked them.
To make matters worse, one of the attackers posted a video of it all to social media.
The video shows passersby refusing to help as the women pleaded for assistance and laughing at them as they were attacked on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
One man who passes by stops to take multiple photos of the women in the street. A woman passing by refuses to help, saying she doesn’t see blood so it must not be too bad. A police car drives up but quickly leaves without stopping as Eden cradles an unconscious Jaslene in the street.
“This was the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me,” Jaslene posted on Instagram with photos of the attackers. “Not just the fact that I was hit by a grown man, but because there were so many men watching this happen to me and my friends. And we begged for someone to call the police, but they were too busy recording and laughing.”
According to HRC, at least 26 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. in the year 2020, and most of them are Black transgender women. Many stories go unreported in the media and police frequently misgender victims, which means that the real number is likely higher.
Transgender and gender non-conforming people are at a higher risk than other populations for violence and violent death. The HRC says “a toxic mix of transphobia, racism and misogyny” makes Black transgender women particularly vulnerable to transphobic attacks.
Mitch O’Farrell, council member of the 13th district of the City of Los Angeles released a statement pertaining to the incident. O’Farrell states “The video of three transgender women of color being physically attacked, chased, robbed, and jeered at by a hostile crowd of cisgender men and women has me infuriated-and- determined to see all perpetrators are brought to justice. I spoke with LAPD Capt. Lurie and he assured me that a full investigation has been launched and detectives are making significant progress. My office will continue to monitor the situation until there is a full resolution. Transgender women face a disproportionate amount of violence and I will continue my mission of doing everything in my power to ensure their safety anywhere in Los Angeles and in the 13th district where we welcome everyone.”
A spokesperson for the LAPD told The Pride LA that the incident was under active investigation and would be labeled a hate crime. They are also reviewing the response of officers in the area one squad car, in particular, passed by the scene with its lights activated en route to another emergency call according to LAPD Chief Michel Moore. Who also added that he planned to find out what call the first officer was responding to, whether the officer realized what was happening to the women as he passed by, whether the officer alerted dispatch to the incident and “whether or not we took appropriate action.”
Update: Two men are in custody. Willie Walker, 42, was arrested in Hollywood Wednesday and on an extortion charge, police said on Friday August 21st, and Carlton Callway, 29, was arrested Thursday on a robbery charge with a hate crime enhancement. Police said they’re still looking for 22-year-old Davion Williams, who is suspected of assaulting the victims with a deadly weapon.