Transgender victim’s differing (but not necessarily contradictory) versions of why she was attacked

According to the New York Daily News, the person who calls him/herself Chrissy Lee Polis (former name, Christopher Lee Polis) says that the black girl who attacked her in the Maryland MacDonald’s accused Polis of trying to talk to “her man.” Meaning, presumably, that the girl didn’t attack Polis for his/her transgender status, but for being (so it appeared) a woman—a white woman—who was horning in on her territory. Let me remind readers that from numerous statements made by blacks during the O.J. Simpson case we know that it is a common feeling among black women that a white woman who takes a black man deserves whatever happens to her. Indeed, Polis has told the Baltimore Sun that she/he “believes race may have also been a factor in her attack … ”

But Polis also told the Sun that the two black girls attacked him/her for being a “dude” in the women’s restroom:

“They said, ‘That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom,’ ” said Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, who said she stopped at the Rosedale restaurant to use the restroom. “They spit in my face.”

Here is the Daily News story, followed by the Baltimore Sun story.

Chrissy Lee Polis, transgender woman attacked at Baltimore McDonald’s, calls assault a ‘hate crime’

The transgender victim of a brutal beat-down at a Maryland McDonald’s broke her silence to call the attack a “hate crime,” and says it’s not the first time she’s been assaulted.

Chrissy Lee Polis told the Baltimore Sun on Saturday the incident, which was captured on video and posted online, has left her “afraid to go outside.”

“I want to cry, but I need to hold my head up,” she said, adding that she’s been beaten and sexually assaulted in the past because of her sexual identity.

The 22-year-old said she entered the McDonald’s in Rosedale, a suburb of Baltimore, to use the bathroom on April 18. When she came out, she claims one of the women who attacked her accused her of trying to talk to “her man.”

“The other girl came up and spit in my face,” Polis said in a video interview posted on the Baltimore Sun website. “They started ripping my hair, throwing me on the floor, kicking me in my face.”

The online video captures the brutal assault. It also shows a McDonald’s employee coming to Polis’ aid, but the women eventually set upon their victim again.

One of the women can be seen dragging Polis across the restaurant to the front door while the other kicks her several times, the video shows. An elderly woman also tries to intervene, but is shoved away by one of the women.

Video of the brutal attack in Maryland was posted online.

Polis suffered a seizure as a result of the attack, according to a police report. She also had several cuts and bruises.

A man continues to capture the assault on video, never once attempting to help, but instead can be heard laughing several times during the footage. Other McDonald’s employees are seen in the video standing nearby as the fight ensues.

“I knew they were taping me; I told the guy to stop,” Polis said. “They all just sat there and watched.”

The man who captured the video was 22-year-old McDonald’s employee, Vernon Hackett, the Baltimore Sun reported. He was since been fired.

“My first and foremost concern is with the victim,” Mitchell McPherson, owner of the Rosedale McDonald’s, said in a statement.

“I’m as shocked and disturbed by the assault as anyone would be,” he said. “The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible.”

McDonald’s released a statement on Saturday calling the attack “unacceptable, disturbing and troubling.”

Other employees may also be fired in the wake of the assault.

Police have arrested two unidentified teenagers—one 14 the other 18—for the assault. Baltimore authorities have yet to determine if they will consider the attack a hate crime.

From the Baltimore Sun:

Victim of McDonald’s beating speaks out
Transgender woman calls attack ‘hate crime,’ has been afraid to be seen in public

A transgender woman beaten at a Baltimore County McDonald’s spoke out on Saturday, saying that the attack was “definitely a hate crime” and that she’s been afraid to go out in public ever since.

“They said, ‘That’s a dude, that’s a dude and she’s in the female bathroom,’ ” said Chrissy Lee Polis, 22, who said she stopped at the Rosedale restaurant to use the restroom. “They spit in my face.”

A worker at the restaurant taped Monday’s attack and created a graphic video that went viral last week. After the video garnered hundreds of thousands of views on websites, McDonald’s issued a statement condemning the incident, and on Saturday the worker who taped the incident was fired.

The video shows two females—one of them a 14-year-old girl—repeatedly kicking and punching Polis in the head as an employee and a patron try to intervene. Others can be heard laughing, and men are seen standing idly by.

Toward the end of the video, one of the suspects lands a punishing blow to the victim’s head, and Polis appears to have a seizure. A man’s voice tells the women to run because police are coming.

“I knew they were taping me; I told the guy to stop,” said Polis, a resident of Baltimore. “They didn’t help me. They didn’t do nothing for me.”

County police confirmed that the attack occurred April 18 in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave. Police said the 14-year-old girl has been charged as a juvenile, while charges were pending against an 18-year-old woman. Reached Saturday, police officials said the investigation was continuing.

The police report does not provide a motive but quotes one of the suspects saying that the fight was “over using a bathroom.”

Polis suffered cuts to her mouth and face, and said she had a seizure. She also acknowledged that she was intoxicated at the time of the assault.

On Saturday she said she continued to suffer from painful bruises.

Polis, who said she had a sex-change operation to become a woman, said this isn’t the first time that she’s been picked on physically because of her sexual identity. She said she’s been subjected to beatings and even sexual assaults.

She said seeing herself all over the Internet and all over the news has been “like walking out of the closet all over again.” Polis is concerned that the public attention could trigger more violence—and worries it could hurt her chances of getting a job. “I want to cry, but I need to hold my head up,” she said.

Her twin brother, Matty Polis, who also lives in Baltimore, said it’s been painful to watch her have to endure these sorts of attacks.

“My sister has gotten this her entire life,” Matty Polis said. “Being the way she is, she’s always had a hard time.”

Polis, who was raised by her grandmother in Dundalk and Essex, graduated from Chesapeake High and hasn’t had a job or stable place to stay for the past two years, according to her mother, Angela Thomas.

Polis, who is white, believes race may have also been a factor in her attack—both the assailants were black, according to the police report.

Equality Maryland has called on state Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler to step in and investigate the case as a hate crime.

“As a community we remain horrified that transgender citizens are so vulnerable that they can be brutalized … for simply walking down the street,” said Lisa Polyak, vice president of the board of directors for Equality Maryland. “She was simply trying to use a public accommodation. People should not feel threatened when they exist in public space.”

Polyak added, “This is why we need a statewide law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression.” The advocacy group has fought repeatedly to have such a law passed by Maryland’s General Assembly.

Scott Shellenberger, the state’s attorney for Baltimore County, said his office has not yet received the file and has not interviewed the victim because the charges were filed late in the week. He said his office will likely interview the victim in the next week and a half and gather additional evidence to determine if the attack was a hate crime.

“When the case was first presented, none of those facts had been revealed to the police—which is why the charges were the way they were,” Shellenberger said. “We can certainly revisit the motive for the attack and determine if we need to make additional charges.”

The three-minute video clip was apparently first posted on YouTube, then taken down by administrators who said it violated the site’s policies. But it popped back up on other sites and was ultimately linked from the Drudge Report, which gave it top billing for much of the day Friday.

The video begins with two women near a bathroom door kicking and hitting a woman who is lying on the ground.

An employee repeatedly tries to separate them, but the attackers continue to stomp and kick the victim in the head. People yell, “Stop! Stop!” to no avail, though others can be heard laughing. An older woman at one point also attempts to pull the attackers away and is shoved.

About halfway through the clip, the attackers drag Polis by her hair to the front door. That is where the victim is sitting before another blow to the head causes an apparent seizure.

Throughout the attack, a man is filming and does not intervene. But when the victim appears to have a seizure, he yells, “She having a seizure, yo. … Police on their way. Y’all better get out of here.”

The owner of the Rosedale McDonald’s announced Saturday afternoon that the employee who taped the beating had been fired.

“My first and foremost concern is with the victim,” franchise owner Mitchell McPherson said in a statement, adding that action might be taken against other restaurant workers as well. “I’m as shocked and disturbed by this assault as anyone would be. The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible.”

Polis said she plans to take legal action against the restaurant.

“Anyone in my predicament should not be afraid to walk the streets,” Polis said. “They should not have to go into a restaurant and get gawked at and made fun of. They shouldn’t be afraid to leave the house. It’s just wrong.”

Baltimore Sun reporters Justin Fenton and Yeganeh June Torbati contributed to this article.

LA notes:

We’ve previously encountered Fenton’s head-in-the-sand reporting on black on white violence in Baltimore here, here, and here.

- end of initial entry -

Evan H. writes:

Here is a youtube video of Polis speaking about the attack.

Polis uses some strange slang in the video—“living room” is the MacDonalds dining area, and “my whole government” refers to his/her full name, and how he/she is not happy that it has been posted all over the Internet.

April 25

Philip M. writes:

They are not ‘multiple versions’ Lawrence. They are competing narratives, or different Truths, all equally valid and valuable in their own way.

Besides, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind.

LA replies:

It sounds as if you’re being ironical, but in fact wasn’t satisfied with the phrase, “multiple versions,” because that might seem to suggest that they were necessarily mutually exclusive, whereas they might possibly all be true.

Alissa writes:

I just browsed the comments at the Daily News and they were pitiful. There was a commenter attacking people for being “racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic.” I couldn’t stomach the atmosphere at that website and left as soon as I could. Liberalism is truly a neverending nightmare where up is down, right is wrong, and evil is good, while also there being no such thing as good and evil, right and wrong and up and down. I clearly don’t get the whole idea that just because the victim is white that he/she is excused as I have seen from a few people on many different forums. Isn’t this the reductionism of white nationalism? All of them should be thrown in prison, both the black savages and the perverse transgender. Maybe the black woman was trying to protect her man from another woman (typical valid scenario) but if she knew (according to the transgender) that the white “woman” was actually a man then isn’t this incoherent? The transgender doesn’t have a clean criminal record. All involved in this incident are guilty. Those black women are just acting on their low IQ impulses in their anger and the he/she shouldn’t even be changing genders. We have family breakdown, a moral sewer, liberal infection of science, medicine, academia and the arts and people wonder why the West is in decline. Maybe somebody should create countries for conservatives only and countries for liberals only. I’m fairly young and wonder how the future will be unless a major global disaster stops liberalism. Maybe something out of “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.

P.S. Sorry if my comment was too passionate. Things in the world are just getting more and more bizarre.

LA replies:

Your passion and upset are understandable. How can any normal person related to this multiple craziness and evil? The other day I only removed your one phrase about the transgender person “deserving” what happened to him/her.

Jeannette V. writes:

Another narrative from the transgender person that doesn’t ring true: This person claims to have had a sex change operation and yet he/she had been virtually homeless and jobless the last two years. Ok who is lying?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 24, 2011 01:41 PM | Send

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