WASHINGTON, March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep concern over recent reports of an alleged attack against a transgender individual and a friend in Silver Spring on Tuesday, March 5, 2013.
According to news reports, the attack occurred at 2:35 pm after the two individuals were followed by four people while walking down the street in downtown Silver Spring. The attackers reportedly made comments regarding the sexuality of the victims before physically assaulting them.
"We are appalled to learn of this alleged attack" said Sophie Dornstreich, ADL Associate Regional Director. "No one should be targeted by hate due to his or her gender identity, sexual orientation or any other characteristic."
"Hate crimes deserve priority attention because the impact resonates throughout the entire community and threatens the safety and well-being of every member of that group," Ms. Dornstreich continued. "Perpetrators of hate crimes send a message to their victims, and everyone else who shares the victim's characteristics, that they are not welcome or safe. The Anti-Defamation League wants those in the transgender community to know that we stand with them in the fight against these crimes."
The League commended the Montgomery County Police Department for their investigation into the bias motivation of this alleged crime. "If officials find that this was indeed a bias-motivated attack, we call upon the Montgomery County Police Department to prosecute this crime to the full extent permitted under Maryland's Bias-Motivated Crime Statute" said Ms. Dornstreich.
Hate crime statutes have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. Many of those laws are based on a model statue crafted by the ADL, which has long been in the forefront of national and state efforts to deter and counteract hate-motivated criminal activity.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
SOURCE Anti-Defamation League