Investigation into hate-crime after a group of transgender women were attacked and then forcibly removed from a Los Angeles bar.
Footage emerged of the incident and shows security dragging the trans women out of base Las Perlas on August 23.
In the footage, victim Jennifer Bianchi says “don’t touch me like that” after being grabbed from behind by security.
One of the trans women, Khloe Perez-Rios, alleged security removed them from the bar after two patrons “attacked” them.
“A couple became very aggressive calling transphobic slurs to all the people on our table,” Ms Perez-Rios said in a Facebook post.
“Things like ‘you all are dudes’, ‘get out of here, you faggots’, ‘you don’t belong here MEN’,” she added.
Ms Perez-Rios told CBS News after they were removed from the bar, the couple threatened to kill them.
“The aggressors threatened to come back and shoot and kill us,” she said.
During the initial altercation, Ms Perez-Rios said the male patron assaulted one of her co-workers.
“[The couple] was very transphobic. They actually slapped one of my co-workers in the face,” she said.
THREAD: Last night in #DTLA trans women and queer men were forcibly removed from @LasPerlasLA against their will after being subject to #transphobia #hate and #homophobia (1/4) pic.twitter.com/HbiYHJEBlm
— Nicholas Turton 🏳️🌈 (@turton_nicholas) August 24, 2019
Las Perlas apologises to transgender community
After the altercation, Las Perlas initially defended the actions of their security.
But the bar has since apologised to the transgender community and said it has hired a new security company.
“We are taking immediate steps to fully investigate what happened… and to address each concern we’ve received since then,” it said.
On Twitter, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) also confirmed they had launched an investigation into the altercation.
“LAPD is investigating the incident at Las Perlas restaurant in DTLA,” the tweet said.
“[We are] committed to ensuring the safety of every Angeleno, [and] the right of all to live as their true selves in peace, harmony, and free from anxiety or fear.”
The LAPD also confirmed they were treating the incident as a possible hate crime in a statement.
Los Angeles is a place where hate against any person, regardless of gender identity, is not tolerated. My office is in communication with @LAPDHQ about the incident at Las Perlas, and will ensure a proper investigation is completed.
— Mayor Eric Garcetti (@MayorOfLA) August 25, 2019
Over the weekend, protesters gathered outside Las Perlas chanting “Trans lives matter”. Some LA residents also called a boycott for the bar.
Since the incident, Ms Perez-Rios has taken to Facebook for support.
“I need all organizations and people who work with us to please spread the message. Our community is not safe in downtown LA,” she said.
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