Seattle: cis man charged with hate crime following violent street harassment

June 4, 2010

Via Seattle PI and King5:

A man was charged Thursday with malicious harassment — the state’s hate crime statute — after police said he yelled a derogatory slur at a transgender woman and assaulted her.

[…]

Court documents allege the suspect, 51-year-old Daniel Patrick Woodward, told the victim she “ought to die and go to hell” after yelling the slur. [Via Seattle PI]

“The victim was waiting minding her own business when the suspect approached her and without provocation began assaulting her,” said Renee Witt, Seattle Police spokesperson. “Apparently he punched her in the face a number of times, threw her to the ground and kicked her.” [Via King5]

The Ballard victim told police she was fearful for her life and wanted to have medical attention for face and neck pain. She was taken to Ballard Swedish Hospital.

[…]

A witness who reported seeing Woodward yelling at the victim after the assault followed the suspect as he walked into a nearby store. He later pointed out the suspect to officers.

Police say Woodward was found near Northwest 54th Street and 14th Avenue Northwest and arrested for investigation of assault.

“The suspect appeared intoxicated and had a strong odor of intoxicants,” Officer Trung Nguyen wrote in an incident report. “He would not respond to my questions of whether he understood his rights.”

The victim was ashamed that someone would assault her based on gender, according to police. Nguyen photographed the victim’s injuries as evidence, and a witness said she did not fight back. [Via Seattle PI]

There’s also coverage in The Seattle Times but the misgendering by the writer, staff reporter Susan Kelleher, is pretty close to hate speech of itself, in my opinion. I realise that the police report also misgenders the victim, but I’m not convinced that is reason enough to use the kind of language that Ms Kelleher does – especially when “a police spokeswoman clarified that the victim identifies herself as a woman” [Via].

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Curtsey to Stefani for the heads-up

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Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia

8 Responses to “Seattle: cis man charged with hate crime following violent street harassment”


  1. I’m encouraged that the report you’ve posted here doesn’t say what the slur was, what do you think? I interpret it as removing the focus from the woman’s gender to the atrocious actions of the man.

    This really isn’t acceptable by any measure – you shouldn’t be shouting abuse and assaulting *anyone* in the street, least of all someone who’s already vulnerable in our fuckwit society.

  2. Les Says:

    I want to start a letter writing campaign, where our cis allies can be put to work writing short letters to newspapers that screw up. I’ve got a few hanging around that can always annoyingly be counted on to call me brave when i post about surgery stuff, even when I tell them to stop. So they must have time for this.

  3. Helen G Says:

    I was musing on how we could get the message through to newspapers earlier and this does sound like a good idea – although, when hacks feel free to ignore their own style guides, then I’m a bit pessimistic about them even reading letters, let alone paying attention.

  4. Les Says:

    This is the reply I got:

    Dear Charles,

    Your message regarding the story about the bus shelter assault was
    forwarded to me because I wrote the item. I used the language that was
    in the charging papers without realizing it would be hurtful or
    offensive. Thanks for raising my awareness. Had you not written in, I
    might have made the same mistake in the future.

    Sincerely,
    Susan Kelleher

  5. Les Says:

    She also changed the online version of the article.

    I feel quite pleased. Normally, my letters get ignored.

  6. Helen G Says:

    Wow, that’s a bit of a result! I, too, have pretty much given up writing in to journalists as, like you, my emails are ignored – although I was gratified by the response of the journalist who wrote a piece about Caster Semenya that I took apart a couple of months ago.

    If only these examples weren’t the rare exceptions…

  7. Les Says:

    The reason I want to push this off on to cis allies is that it’s really very low effort to write a letter/email to an offending news outlet. It’s practically a form letter. And they can do it and feel like they’re helping, but they don’t have much of an emotional investment in it, really.

    Maybe there could be something like a group blog or a live journal group or something where people can post what they’ve written a letter about and the results of it, so that interested allies can learn what to look for and then encourage each other.

  8. Helen G Says:

    “LetterstotheEditor.com”?

    Something like that could be a really good resource – letter templates, people’s stories/experiences, links to newspaper style guides… You should deffo do this!


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