Police: Transgender woman beaten in Midtown

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imageA transgender woman was assaulted in Midtown Friday morning after she allegedly solicited her apparent attacker for sex, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

The woman rode with her alleged attacker to College Park to have sex and when they returned to Midtown, the man brandished a handgun and fought with the victim, police said. The transgender woman, who was beaten in the face and bitten on the ear, was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital to be treated for her injuries. The suspect fled in a gray sedan.

Police did not identify the victim and an incident report was not yet available Friday evening, according to Carlos Campos, the police department’s public affairs manager.

Immediately after the assault, police commanders notified Officer Patricia Powell, the department’s LGBT liaison, of the incident, Campos said in a statement about the attack. Powell will work with investigators to monitor the incident and talk with the victim, he added.

The quick notification of Powell came two days after the police department said it would reiterate to officers that agency policy dictates Powell is to be contacted when a bias crime with LGBT victims is reported.

Campos said that Friday’s incident hasn’t been classified as a bias crime, but that Powell should be made aware of such assaults.

The issue of notifying the department’s gay liaison of incidents involving LGBT people surfaced in the wake of the July 2 armed robbery of a gay couple in Piedmont Park. Powell was not notified of the attack until three days later. Atlanta police said Wednesday the delay violated department policy. Six people were arrested shortly after last week’s attack.

Chief George Turner said during a press conference Friday that the police department is actively working with the LGBT community through the liaison to find “out exactly how that community wants to be policed.” Turner’s appearance came as Mayor Kasim Reed nominated him to become the city’s next top cop. Reed said he expects the police department to improve how it works with the city’s LGBT residents.

“I expect a chief and a police department that will seek the counsel and direction of the LGBT liaison, Officer Patricia Powell, on all matters relating to the fair, just and appropriate treatment of the valued citizens of this community,” Reed said. “In addition, our police force will live up to its creed and protect and serve the LGBT community with an ever-heightened sensitivity, responsiveness and commitment to getting it right. We have work to do there.”

On Thursday, the police department announced the creation of a nine-person LGBT advisory board that will work with Powell and asked the public for nominations to fill it.

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