Update (August 25, 2020): The district attorney’s office in Los Angeles has decided not to press charges against two men who were arrested in connection with an attack on three trans women last week.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office sent the case back to the police department for more investigation despite video showing a group of men robbing and assaulting Eden Estrada, Jaslene Whiterose and Joslyn Flawless, according to CBSLA.
Carlton Callway, 29, and Willie Walker, 42, were arrested on Thursday. Police are still searching for Davion Williams.
“It was absolutely the worst day of my life. I know that I’m so privileged, because I am a YouTuber and because people know who I am, but this happens all the time to women like me who aren’t on social media. We need this to stop,” Estrada told CBSLA
The three men were identified last week, according to the Los Angeles Times, and police are now referring to the attack as a hate crime.
In a video posted to Estrada’s Instagram page, an unidentified detective tells her he wishes charges had been filed and said he disagreed with the district attorney’s decision.
View this post on Instagram
Court was scheduled for tomorrow 8:30am. They went ahead and did it today instead without notifying us. The District Attorney has officially REJECTED our case due to not enough evidence…. every file has been dropped and EVERYONE has been released from jail. THIS IS YOUR AMERICA. Our lives DO NOT MATTER to them. I’d like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for supporting and campaigning and loving my friends and I during the hardest week of our lives. I wish I had good news. I wish I could say all of this made a difference. I wish our sacrifice meant something. I don’t know what direction this will go but I know God is watching over us and he’s proud of us regardless. DAYAN MATHAI 213-257-2385 Assistant Head District Attorney
“The district attorney has decided to temporarily reject the case from further investigation, meaning that the individual that was arrested will be released today. The DA that was assigned this case feels that he needs more time to review the evidence. Now whether that’s typical standard procedure, I don’t know,” he said.
He added that police will still look into the case and hopefully can get charges filed against the alleged assailants.
On the Instagram post, Estrada wrote that the decision was connected to the general lack of care and concerns trans people have to deal with. On the phone call with the detective, she was incensed that the district attorney was ignoring the video from the assailants themselves showing what happened.
“Court was scheduled for tomorrow 8:30am. They went ahead and did it today instead without notifying us. The District Attorney has officially REJECTED our case due to not enough evidence…. every file has been dropped and EVERYONE has been released from jail. THIS IS YOUR AMERICA. Our lives DO NOT MATTER to them,” she wrote.
Video of the incident ricocheted across YouTube and Instagram prompting an outcry from the public about the case.
The assailants took a video of themselves insulting and attacking the three women, stealing their purses and throwing scooters at them.
In a GoFundMe for the women, Estrada explains what happened and gave an update about the situation.
“I'd like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for supporting and campaigning and loving my friends and I during the hardest week of our lives. I wish I had good news. I wish I could say all of this made a difference. I wish our sacrifice meant something. I don't know what direction this will go but I know God is watching over us and he's proud of us regardless,” Estrada wrote.
She included the names and numbers of the district attorneys and their numbers, urging fans of the three women to push the city to rearrest the men and charge them.
If you wish to contribute to the GoFundMe, you can click here. They have raised more than $40,000 through the campaign and said they will use the funds to recover from the incident.
Estrada said she would use her platform on Instagram and YouTube to speak out about the situation and try to spread awareness about the violence trans women continue to face.
“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. They were upset because I was still alive,” one of the women told CBSLA.
Original (August 19, 2020): A group of friends, who are trans women of color, was brutally attacked in Hollywood, California, as the assailants recorded the incident.
Instagram influencer Eden the Doll and two of her friends, Joslyn Flawless and Jaslene White Rose, were on Hollywood Boulevard waiting on an Uber when a group of unidentified men "robbed, attacked and jumped" them, Metro reported.
Eden the Doll, whose real name is Eden Estrada, posted videos on her Instagram story from a social media user who captured the incident. Insider reports the Instagram user is one of the alleged attackers.
She said her phone was taken during the attack.
View this post on Instagram
Last night my friends were targeted, attacked and robbed by a group of men .This is the reality of how trans women of color are treated. This footage was recorded by the men on one of their lives and posted for their entertainment. These men humiliated them, robbed them, threw scooters at one of them ,knocked one of them unconscious and busted her head open, one pulled a knife on one of them and threatened to kill her. This is not okay and will not be tolerated. If you know any information about their names please share it below or dm @edenthedoll , we need to get these men arrested ! . (These Clips are just a small portion of the last moments of what happened but their is more footage/ proof in my story linked) #translivesmatter #blacklivesmatter
"We initially tried to get [the phone] back but his friend started throwing rocks at us," Estrada wrote over a video on Instagram. "We tried to run away but they chased us down."
Throughout the clips shared on social media, Estrada said Joslyn was held at knifepoint while Jaslene was bashed in the head and "completely passed out on [her]."
"Aside from hitting me, he tried to rob me again. They outnumbered us," she wrote. "Now he hits @jaslenewhiterose and stole her bag. His friends chase us down in cars."
"In panic and still recovering from hip surgery, @joslynflawless hands her bag to this man. They mock her as she falls and he throws and breaks my phone. They flat out stole her bag and recorded themselves doing it," she added.
Estrada said she cried out for help during the attack and was continuously mocked, leaving her "traumatized."
During the clips, the men can be heard laughing, making references to the movie White Chicks and saying "He mad she was a man," "She's dead" and "Hit her again."
The men eventually decided to sell Estrada her phone back before she gave them the rest of her money.
Estrada said while the attack was happening, police officers "stopped, looked, and kept driving."
After getting her phone back, she said she called for medical assistance.
A representative for the Los Angeles Police Department told Insider that a call was made around 2:40 a.m. about the attack and that a report was filed. No arrests have been made though.
Jaslene posted a video to Instagram recounting the moments of the attack.
"I got hit in the back of my f**king head with a bottle because I was trans," Jaslene said. "I was robbed. They took all of my s**t."
"Everyone crowded around me, laughing at me, recording me, telling me that I deserved that because they thought that I tricked a man and that was why he was beating me up. But in reality, I'm just a f**king t****y that was walking in the street and a man decided to rob me and hit me in the back of the fing head with a bottle," she added.
The Instagram influencer pointed out the ongoing disrespect for Black trans women amid protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"People preach black lives matter and want equality for all but this is how they treat BLACK TRANS WOMEN. If their lives don't matter, none of ours do!!!!!" Estrada said.
This point in the year has been recorded as the most violent for the trans community since the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) started reporting their deaths in 2013. According to the HRC, at least 26 transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the United States in 2020.