Teens charged with hate crime in videotaped Baltimore beating

The two teens caught on videotape brutally beating a transgender woman at a Baltimore-area McDonald’s have been indicted on hate crime charges along with several assault charges.

The Baltimore County’s state attorney spent weeks before deciding to file hate crime charges against Teonna Brown, 18, and a 14-year-old girl arrested in connection with the attack, reported CBS affiliate WJZ.

Chrissy Lee Polis had claimed all along she was targeted because she’s transgendered. She apparently suffered a seizure in the attack, which occurred while McDonald’s employees and customers stood around laughing.

One of those employees taped the attack and posted it online. He was subsequently fired.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, D, issued a statement May 17 saying, “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.”

Equality Maryland also praised Shellenberger.

“Today, the State’s Attorney for Baltimore County came to the only possible conclusion in deciding to try the assault on Chrissy Lee Polis as a hate crime,” said Lynne Bowman, interim executive director at Equality Maryland, in a statement.

“As the video shows, the violent attack was directly related to the fact that Ms. Polis is a transgender woman. Lack of understanding or fear about someone who is transgender is never an excuse for violence and when it occurs, it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”