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MARTA Makes Arrests in Attack on Transgender Women

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has condemned the attack on a MARTA train as a hate crime.

Luther Thomas. Courtesy Fulton County jail
Luther Thomas. Courtesy Fulton County jail

The MARTA Police Department has arrested a pair of suspects allegedly involved in a fight on a train last week that was captured by witnesses on video and then went viral on the internet. The two victims in the case have told local media the fight was result of them being transgender.

Luther L. Thomas, 34, and Frederick L. Missick, 35, both of Atlanta, have been charged with disorderly conduct in connection with the May 20 incident that occurred on a southbound train en route to Oakland City Station.

More serious charges against the suspects are possible according to authorities. Both are being held at the Fulton County jail on $2,500 bond.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has condemned the attack as a hate crime.

The video of the profanity-laced brawl that concludes in nudity begins with a verbal confrontation between two transgender women and a pair of men. It then escalated into an almost two-minute long brawl between the four as other passengers watched and videoed.

“Nobody tried to help,” one of the transgender women attacked in the video, told GA Voice. “They were all standing up on chairs and videotaping. That’s how it ended up on so many sites.”

MARTA officials said the investigation has been hampered by a lack of witnesses willing to come forward. Police officers who later responded to the scene were unable to get statements from the victims and subsequent attempts to interview them were also unsuccessful.

In the wake of this incident, MARTA’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is strengthening outreach efforts to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer community to affirm the agency’s staunch support for the principles of tolerance, inclusion and equal treatment under the law. 

Cassandra Troy May 31, 2014 at 03:06 PM
This is the only local site I could find on this horrific story; that is another disgrace. What the hell is wrong w/people? This does not speak well of we the people. Is it a 'normal' trait to gang up on someone, already hurting from a lifetime of emotional suffering, just because you can? My late son was 'special needs' I cannot tell you how many times his sister and I pulled so called 'normal' kids off my helpless child. Does one have to die in this culture to achieve peace? Jesus wept.
Bob June 01, 2014 at 07:12 AM
I like Marta, but scared to ride it.
OnceWasAnnie June 01, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Becky: It's actually a psychological thing, akin to mob mentality. Maybe a person wants to help but they're too scared to get involved. They think that someone else will help but all those other people are thinking the same thing. And it's not confined to Atlanta. I lived in Seattle for eleven years and was a victim of a public transportation assault. Some lunatic started throwing things at me and screaming at me on the bus and no one came to my aid, not even the bus driver! It was awful! No one wants to get involved and it's worse in places like Seattle...has to do with the lack of sunlight, makes many people shut down emotionally (this is proven but my explanation is a bit poor. Sorry!) Anyway, I agree with you about Marta being safe. I've lived here since 2002 and I've never been attacked. People (men mostly) have commented on my looks and tried to "romance" me but I've never felt threatened, just annoyed. They usually back off if my girlfriend is with me, they really don't want to tangle with her! Haha. Also, I think if you act like a scared, timid little creature afraid of the world, you're going to attract the loonies. You're just sending out the "loony vibe" that makes them hone in on you. LOL.
OnceWasAnnie June 01, 2014 at 04:19 PM
Bob: Don't be scared. A man scared to ride MARTA? Wow. Carry a can of mace, then. You're white, aren't you? ;-)
erie June 05, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Marta beats walking but them guys dressed up like ladies was fighting just like men too. smiling

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