ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester police officials announced an arrest Monday in connection to a hate crime investigation.
Police say 24-year-old Rashad Turner of Rochester is charged with second degree assault. Turner was booked into the Monroe County Jail and later arraigned in Rochester City Court, officials say.
MORE | Gov. Cuomo directs hate crimes task force to investigate assault of Black transgender man in Rochester
Police responded to Denver Street on July 31 for the report of an assault, where officers found the victim, a 30-year-old transgender male and city resident.
The victim said he was harassed based upon his sexual orientation and gender identity that at least one suspect punched him twice, rendering him unconscious, according to police.
Officials say the victim was treated at Rochester General Hospital for head and facial injuries, which consisted of several broken bones and required surgery.
The following day, Rochester police announced it was a hate-crime investigation.
Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in an investigation of an assault against a Black transgender man in Rochester. In a statement, the governor said:
“I am outraged by reports of an assault against a 30-year-old black transgender man in Rochester. New York will never tolerate such rancorous acts of hate, and I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to provide any and all resources necessary to bring the assailants to justice.
“Anti-transgender violence is an epidemic in this country with more than one in four trans people experiencing hate-based assaults, with trans women and trans people of color experiencing higher rates of violence. There is no place for individuals to fear for their safety based on who they are, who they love, or how they look in New York.
“We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with members of the transgender and gender non-conforming communities, and will never cease in our pursuit to fulfill New York’s legacy as a beacon of mutual respect and justice for all.”
A statement from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren Monday about the arrest said:
“Every citizen of Rochester deserves to be able to walk down the street in peace and safety. The recent vicious attack that occurred on a transgender resident of our city was particularly deplorable, not just because of its violent nature, but because it was rooted in hate. There is no place in our city for any type of violence, but violent, hate-driven crimes are particularly abhorrent and unacceptable. This crime was investigated aggressively by the Rochester Police Department and I am grateful today that charges have been brought against the suspect involved in this act.
In America, our transgender youth and adults are at a far greater risk to be the victims of violence. I want the transgender community here in Rochester to know we will not accept, nor will we ignore, violence perpetuated against them for merely being themselves. I also hope that those in our community who would contemplate violence against any one of our neighbors merely for being who they are will choose not to engage in this behavior knowing that we will be aggressive in our investigation and prosecution of hate-based offenses.
In Rochester, we will uphold and protect civil and human rights for all people and we will treat and support all of our citizens equally no matter their race, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation or nation of origin.”
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.