Kendall Stephens, a trans woman who survived a horrific transphobic attack in her own home, has described the shocking reaction by police who “cracked jokes while she bled onto the floor”.
Warning: contains graphic descriptions of violence against a trans person.×
Kendall Stephens, a community advocate and Temple University student, was brutally attacked by a group of people in her own home in August this year.
The 34-year-old was studying and enjoying a quiet night in with her two goddaughters, aged 12 and 16, when she heard a fight breaking out outside her house in South Philadelphia.
When the group refused to disperse, she called emergency services, but one of the women turned on her and punched her in the face. The attacked and her friends then forced their way into Stephens’s house to continue the assault.
Recalling the attack in an interview with Human Rights Campaign, Stephens said: “I ended up in my dining room getting attacked by four women at all sides of me, and then suddenly one of the women picked up a wooden decorative planter and began hitting me about my head and face with it, causing me to become concussed and black out momentarily.
“Throughout the attack the woman referred to me as a ‘man’ and ‘tranny’.
“The assault did not end there. Several men stormed into the home as well and pulled the women away, but did not pull them away before getting a few hits in as well and calling me the N word and a ‘f**king tranny’.”
Police refused to arrest trans woman’s attacker.
Stephens was left with her nose broken in two places, bruised ribs, swelling on her face, a head contusion, “a busted lip” and damaged gum vessels that caused two of her teeth to become necrotic.
When the police arrived, however, they had little sympathy for the trans woman who had been brutally beaten.
“The responding police officers were very unhelpful,” said Stephens.
“They were belligerent and unsympathetic and refused to arrest one of my attackers, who I had ID’d to them (she was a few doors down continuing to hurl transphobic slurs while they were there).
“Furthermore, they said that by looking at my injuries, they regarded the incident as a simple assault, and as such, I had to make a private criminal complaint.”
While this was happening, her husband arrived home, and they both begged with police to take action. They left without confirming the attackers’ identities or making any arrests.