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Gov. Cuomo directs hate crimes task force to investigate assault of Black transgender man in Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has 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.

A statement from the governor Wednesday said in part:

“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.  

MORE | RPD investigating Denver Street assault as a hate crime, asking public for help identifying suspects

“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.”

On Saturday, Rochester police officials said a Friday assault on Denver Street was being investigated as a hate crime, and they asked the public for help in identifying suspects seen in security footage.

Police responded to the area near Melville Street on the city’s east side and found two victims. A 30-year-old and a 23-year-old were assaulted on Denver Street according to police.

An investigation into the incident revealed that two suspects argued with the pair because of one of the victim’s sexual orientation. The 30-year-old victim was taken to an area hospital for their injuries.

“We have a lead investigator who is following multiple leads,” RPD Deputy Chief Mark Mura said. “We’re hoping to make one or two arrests in the near future, but again, it’s very early in the investigative process.”

Mura said The Rochester Police Department is not ready to release what the actual charges will be yet.

“We need to make that arrest and confer with the DA’s office what the charges will be,” he said.

In the security footage released, two suspects are seen entering “Big Town Grocery” on Parcells Avenue. One of the suspects in the video is seen wearing a white tank top and dark shorts.

The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office is being consulted on the case. The Rochester Police Department is asking anyone with any information about the crime to contact 911.

Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary released a statement on the ongoing investigation Wednesday:

“We are utilizing every resource to investigate and apprehend the person(s) responsible for this heinous crime committed in our community. The Rochester Police Department has no tolerance for any crime committed against a citizen of this community, let alone a crime that is committed because of an individual’s identity. We continue to ask for the public’s assistance in solving this crime. We will continue to work with the District Attorney’s Office to ensure those responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.

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