JASON RANTZ

Rantz: Trans hate crime near Seattle? No. She was the aggressor

Dec 20, 2019, 12:14 PM | Updated: 2:30 pm
transgender, attack...
(Screengrab from video below)
(Screengrab from video below)

When news broke that a transgender woman on a Metro bus was attacked in a hate crime by juveniles, I immediately cautioned the audience not to accept the quick story when there were clearly holes. It didn’t make sense.

While it’s undoubtedly clear there have been sincere cases of anti-trans hate crimes, people jump to conclusions based on little facts because it pushes a narrative they have a vested interest in. They wanted to believe the story before more facts become clear.

The story was that on a bus in Tukwila, a transgender woman pepper sprayed juveniles after they attacked her. They then followed her off the bus and attacked her some more, apparently using slurs.

This didn’t happen. I’m glad I was right; we shouldn’t needlessly scare any members of the community with an attack that wasn’t motivated by hate. We have actual hate crimes that deserve our attention.

It turns out, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office, the transgender woman was the aggressor, pepper spraying a group of Hispanic kids in an unprovoked attack on the bus.

“The bus footage disproved claims that the juveniles had threatened the female,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “We will be referring a Felony Assault 3 case to prosecutors.”

The woman looks clearly intoxicated in the video, though those details haven’t been provided by the Sheriff’s Office.

At the time of the story, no one could explain why she pepper sprayed the juveniles. But because she’s transgender, it immediately was labeled a hate crime by some in the community, with one activist ludicrously implying President Donald Trump or conservatives were to blame.

“It is a direct correlation with the political climate these days,” Sophia Lee, board chair of the Gender Justice League, told KOMO. “People have felt much more emboldened to act upon their impulses.”

The Gender Justice League is a fringe activist group. They took advantage of this because it lets them say, even in Progressive Washington, they’re perpetual victims of hate. Three kids, 14-16, are somehow influenced by the caricature of evil, racist Republicans? Please.

On air, when discussing the story, I posited that the kids probably attacked her but more likely having to do with the pepper spray, not her identity. I was right. The Sheriff’s Office said:

Our detectives will be referring an Assault 4 case against the juveniles. At this time, we will not be referring the case as a hate crime. Although witnesses did hear offensive slurs used by the juveniles, the motive for the assault appears to be retaliation for the pepper spray incident, not the victim’s gender or orientation.

The attack by the teens was a clear overreaction, even if their anger completely justified. They should be charged. But I’m also wondering about the motive of the transgender woman. Why’d she attack, seemingly unprovoked, Hispanic teen males?

The bigger problem in this story isn’t that some jumped to conclusions on the motive. It’s that they’ll use this in stats to claim the transgender is seeing an uptick in attacks. If the data is skewed, you unnecessarily scare people. Moreover, you end up not coming up with the right solutions because you can’t when the data is wrong.

King County Sheriff’s Office Full Statement: Charges against both the transgender female and the four juveniles will be forwarded to prosecutors for review. Our investigation determined the following: A review of video from onboard the Metro coach shows the female to be the aggressor, using pepper spray, in an unprovoked attack on the four juveniles sitting at the back of the bus. The female initially claimed the group of juveniles threatened her, which led her to pepper spraying the juveniles in an attempt to “neutralize” a perceived threat. According to our detective, the bus footage disproved claims that the juveniles had threatened the female. We will be referring a Felony Assault 3 case to prosecutors.

There was a lapse in time before the juveniles left the bus and perpetrated an assault on the female, part of which was captured on a cellphone. The lapse in time eliminates a self-defense claim. The female sustained minor injuries. Our detectives will be referring an Assault 4 case against the juveniles. At this time, we will not be referring the case as a hate crime. Although witnesses did hear offensive slurs used by the juveniles, the motive for the assault appears to be retaliation for the pepper spray incident, not the victim’s gender or orientation.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Rantz: Trans hate crime near Seattle? No. She was the aggressor