At this point, the big story is that the victims were transgendered. Depending on the source, the victims were either men or women. Fox5 describes them as "transgendered women," and then refers to one as "he." ABC7 reports that two women were stabbed. DCist reports that two "transgendered men" were attacked.
This is a horrible daytime crime, whether or not it turns out to be a hate crime. One of the witnesses described the scene to Fox5:
"He said he couldn't breathe, 'I can't breathe,'" said Frenzell Alexander, a neighbor. "He came down 4th street and was gasping for breath and was bleeding from his neck."My beef lies with MPD and their handling of the information about this case. As of right now there is a ton of speculation about the gender and sexual orientation of the victims. We know that both victims were seriously injured, and one of them has died. The police have released some sort of information that they were transgendered, but it is unclear where this information came from and how reliable it is.
My first reaction to reading about this story was that it seemed inappropriate and premature to release information pertaining to a crime victim's gender identity. I know that MPD did not release the names of the victims, but that information will eventually come out. MPD has not yet classified this as a hate crime, and a trial is not yet underway (nor has a suspect been identified) so I cannot imagine why releasing that information is relevant or appropriate.
Furthermore, I have a hard time believing that the victims of this crime (especially the deceased) had a discussion with the police about what gender they identify themselves as. Even if they were found wearing the clothing of the opposite sex, the police should only identify them by age and their gender as indicated on their driver's license.
As best as I can tell, it sounds like two women (who possibly identify themselves as men) were attacked, one was killed. The suspect is a black male who fled on 4th Street. That's all we know. Out of respect for the victims and their families it seems inappropriate and wrong for MPD to be speculating on their gender identification so soon after the crime.