Michigan judge classifies attack on transgender woman as a hate crime

Kimora Steubal testifies during a hearing this week in Detroit. (Photo via FOX2)

DETROIT — A judge in Michigan ruled this week that an attack on a transgender woman was a hate crime against her gender.

TV station FOX2 reported that technically, transgender people aren’t covered by Michigan’s hate crimes law. However, Judge Willam McConico agreed with the prosecutor and said since the case was about gender, the case is considered ethnic intimidation and can be tried as a hate crime.

From FOX2:

A woman targeted for being transgender in an attack that ended with her being shot is now telling her story in court.

Kimora Steuball says she was standing in line to buy cigarettes at a gas station on 7 Mile just after 8 p.m. July 23 when Deonton Rogers started harassing her.

She says he called her the n word and she explained that she’s transgender. It is alleged he then pulled out a gun.

“He was like, ‘well I’ll kill you,’ you’ll kill who?” she testified. “I’m transgender. I know what transgenders go through. We go through this everyday. Getting attacked, guns pulled out on us, shot at, shot at, robbed. I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me. I was terrified for my life.”

It was then that Steuball says, fearing for her life, she tried to grab the gun. The gun discharged and she was shot in her left shoulder. Rogers was already a felon so he wasn’t allowed to legally carry a gun, but his attorney says he didn’t mean to fire it.

The prosecutor said the intent was clear and that this was a hate crime.

Roberts was charged with firearm discharge – serious impairment/injury, felonious assault, felony firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, child abuse -4th degree and ethnic intimidation based upon gender.

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