Content warning: The following story contains transphobic violence and transphobic remarks.
[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]ver the last week, video footage showing three transgender women being beaten, robbed, and insulted in a transphobic attack Monday morning on Hollywood Boulevard has received national and local attention. The extremely graphic videos, all compiled from an Instagram live, capture the women being subjected to transphobic slurs and physical violence while the people recording laugh and mock the survivors. The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime and robbery.
Eden Estrada, known as Eden the Doll on Youtube, and two other friends were waiting for an Uber in Hollywood when a man stole Eden’s phone. In an Instagram highlight titled “Help 💔,” Eden wrote the women “initially tried to get [the phone] back, but his friends started throwing rocks at us.“ Eden and friends Jaslene Whiterose and Joslyn Flawless were chased, and the same man attempted to rob Eden a second time.
Eden, who has almost 430k followers on Instagram, said that the videos came from Instagram user @stevofilmz who “mocked us, sexualized, and instigated THE ENTIRE attack.”
The attack continued as the man hit Whiterose and proceeded to steal her bag and run away. As the women chased after him, numerous people followed on foot and in cars laughing while the women were being robbed and physically assaulted. Following this, Flawless handed her bag to another man watching the chase and proceeded to fall in the street as the person who stole Eden’s phone threw it to the ground, causing it to break.
The men recording are laughing and making derogatory comments towards the women, one asking if they are “sh-ms” and another asking if Eden’s had plastic surgery.
In later videos, one of the onlooking men throws an electric scooter at Rose, and another sells Eden’s now missing phone back to her for $80. “My phone has all of my videos and family pictures I haven’t backed up. I was desperate,” Eden wrote, explaining why she agreed to pay to get it returned.
Last year, the American Medical Association called violence against the transgender community an “epidemic.”
Following this, the original man who stole Eden’s phone came back and hit Rose in the head, causing her to pass out on Eden. The men watching are heard laughing and mocking Eden, asking them to call the police.
“I’m completely traumatized. This is the scariest moment of my life,” Eden wrote.
The videos show a police car driving past with sirens on, Eden writing the officers “stopped, looked and kept driving.” Rose lay lifeless on the floor.
As Eden was with Rose, Flawless wrote that she was robbed of her shoes, jewelry, and possessions. This incident was also filmed. The video captioned, “He mad she was a man lmao.” Flawless posted the video on her Instagram writing, the man threatened her with a crowbar. “He said if I was trans he would kill me. He then forced me to hold his hand while he looked for my friends to kill them for being trans.”
As Flawless makes her way back to her friends, the footage shows a group of men and women surrounding Eden, Rose, and Flawless, the onlookers laughing, recording, and speculating on their gender, one asking if they are men, while Rose cries.
“What if something happened to you like that, I would never do that sh—to you. I would never do anything like that to you.”
“When I was waking back up, literally all I saw and all I could see were all these lights, people with cameras, laughing at me and telling me that they wish that he had killed me,” Rose said to CBS Los Angeles.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported that in 2019, at least 27 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed. So far, the HRC found that at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed, some being Black transgender women.
Last year, the American Medical Association called violence against the transgender community an “epidemic.” In the same week, another trans-Latinx woman was reported missing, also in Hollywood.
While the group of men recording walked away from the women who were now waiting for an ambulance, they could be heard saying “Black Lives Matter,” causing Eden to respond. “What if something happened to you like that, I would never do that sh—to you. I would never do anything like that to you.”
Flawless added, “And you want to talk about Black Lives Matter, and you’re seeing a Black woman who’s on the floor, and you want to talk about Black Lives Matter?”
LAPD posted a photo of one of the accused men on their Instagram Wednesday morning, asking the public to contact Hollywood Area Robbery Detective Stogner at (213) 972-2934 with any information on his identity.
Mariah Castañeda contributed to this report.
L.A. Taco has reached out to Eden Estrada for comment.
Update: The missing person has been found. James Queally from LA Times is reporting that LAPD has arrested two suspects in connection with the crime.