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Monday, April 25, 2011

Chrissy Lee Polis, Transgender Woman Beaten, Speaks Out (Video)

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2011 at 10:34 AM

click to enlarge Chrissy Lee Polis speaks
  • Chrissy Lee Polis speaks

Update: Police have charged Teonna Monae Brown, 18, with assault. A 14-year-old girl is also facing charges.

Original story, 8:45 a.m.: By now, most people have heard about the truly jaw-dropping case of a transgender woman who was brutally beaten inside a McDonald's in Maryland while employees stood by and encouraged it. Since then, more than 28,000 people across the nation -- including San Franciscans -- have signed the petition calling on McDonald's to punish those employees.

A graphic video filmed on April 18 by McDonald's employee Vernon Hackett shows Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, being pulled out of the bathroom and severely beaten. The video shows two women kicking her, dragging her across the ground by her hair, and punching her in the face until she has an apparent seizure.

Instead of helping her, employees filmed the beating while others cheered them on, according to news reports.

After the beating, the video was posted online. Hackett justified the situation, saying the "man was dressed as a woman." McDonald's has since dismissed the employee who was taping the incident and is considering penalizing others who were on duty at the time.

A rally is being scheduled outside the Baltimore McDonald's tonight at 7. Meanwhile, thousands of people have signed the petition with, which has offices based in San Francisco, asking McDonald's to punish the other employees.

"Let's hope that this attack at a McDonald's franchise underscores the importance of providing employees adequate training to confront harassment based on gender identity and gender expression," says Eden James, San Francisco's director of organizing for

On April 15, San Francisco held a rally to support a transgender woman who was beaten outside the 16th Street BART station. In that case, the 20-year-old woman, who was identified only as Mia, was punched in the face by two men who had been harassing her, saying they hated men dressed as women.  

Polis has since been released from the hospital. Over the weekend, she spoke about the incident.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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