Posted on May 17, 2011

Hate Crime Charges in Maryland McDonald’s Beating Caught on Video

Sarah Brumfield, My Fox DC, May 16, 2011

Two teens are facing hate crime charges in the beating of a transgender woman at a McDonald’s, an attack that was caught on video and posted online.

Teonna Brown, 18, was indicted Monday on assault and hate crime charges in the attack on Chrissy Lee Polis at the restaurant last month. She is also charged with assaulting a customer and a McDonald’s employee who tried to intervene. A 14-year-old girl is facing the same charges in juvenile court. The Associated Press typically does not identify juveniles charged with crimes.


A videotape of the April 18 beating showed a woman being attacked repeatedly while an employee and customer try to stop them, and the woman apparently having a seizure.


Polis said she was confronted by a girl who spat in her face and accused Polis of talking to “my man.” Polis said another girl then also spat on her face, and that they then beat and kicked her, pulled her by the hair and tore off her earrings.


Governor Martin O’Malley issued this statement Tuesday following the hate crime charge in the beating of Chrissy Lee Polis last month in Rosedale:

“I want to commend Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger for using every available means to prosecute the heinous beating of Chrissy Lee Polis last month.

“Even with Maryland’s ‘hate crimes’ law, it is clear that more must be done to protect the rights and dignity of transgendered people. In the struggle for justice and equality for all, I’m committed to working with the Maryland General Assembly during the next legislative session to increase awareness and provide even greater protections for transgendered people.

“As some have noted, out of this awful beating has come a moment to foster a deeper understanding and respect for the dignity of all persons. We should not allow the moment to pass without greater action.”