Friday, August 31, 2018

AFFA and Charleston Police co-hosting town hall after assault on trans woman downtown

Language used by CPD raised eyebrows among local activists

Posted by Adam Manno on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 at 5:23 PM

click to enlarge Parents and activists packed into a Berkeley County School Board meeting in 2016 to discuss the district's treatment of transgender students. - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Parents and activists packed into a Berkeley County School Board meeting in 2016 to discuss the district's treatment of transgender students.
The Charleston-based Alliance for Full Acceptance and the Charleston Police Department are joining for a town hall after a trans woman was assaulted in downtown Charleston earlier this month.

The discussion will take place in the Arthur Christopher Community Center (265 Fishburne St.) on Tues. Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.

On Aug. 19, officers found 34-year-old Kendra Martinez bleeding and lying face-down on the ground after she was punched by an unidentified man. Martinez first stepped in to defend her sister, who the man kicked in the stomach following a verbal disturbance in a parking garage, according to police.

In initial information released about the arrest, CPD spokesperson Charles Francis stressed that the assault had nothing to do with Martinez's gender identity, calling her "a transgender." After a review of surveillance footage revealed otherwise, Francis issued a correction.

"The follow-up investigation revealed the offender did confront the victim about the victim's gender identity prior to the assault," he said. "The investigation into this aggravated assault is ongoing and investigators are working closely with the Alliance for Full Acceptance to ensure all witnesses are interviewed and all violations of the law are considered."

Tuesday's event will provide a space for Charleston's LGBTQ community to voice their concerns and will discuss recommendations for a "safer and more welcoming Charleston."

"We believe that increased dialogue and conversation is a way to strengthen our community," AFFA wrote in a description of the event on Facebook. "This town hall is a first step toward more open communication and trust building between our local law enforcement and the LGBTQ community they serve."
Location Details Arthur Christopher Community Center
265 Fishburne St.
Downtown
Charleston, S.C.

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