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Watch: Police Apprehend 2 After Video of Trans Women's Assault, Robbery Posted Online

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Friday August 21, 2020

Los Angeles police arrested two men seen in video posted online of the assault and robbery of three trans women, one of them Instagram and YouTube star Eden Estrada, known to her followers as Eden the Doll, reports local CBS affiliate KCAL 9.

As previously reported at EDGE, Eden the Doll and two friends - Jaslene White Rose and Joslyn Flawless - were waiting for an Uber in on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, in the early morning hours of Aug. 17 when they were robbed and assaulted by several men. As the attack was taking place, a number of bystanders took video using cameras and cell phones - but no one came to the women's aid.

Eden the Doll pieced together a video record of much of what happened by tracking down and posting video clips taken by bystanders and presenting the clips in a long thread that she posted to her Instagram page. The images are accompanied by text written by Eden, who provided a moment-by-moment account of the sometimes confusing action.

As the videos unfold, Eden's phone is stolen; a group of men Eden says are friends of the thief chase the three women; a man yanks away one of the women's handbags; one man strikes Jasmine in the head, at which point Jaslene is apparently knocked unconscious; another man picks up and hurls a scooter at the women; a man extorts money from Eden in exchange for her stolen phone; and another man allegedly robs the injured Jaslene at knifepoint.

Eden claims that one of the perpetrators also threatened her with a crowbar, telling her that he would kill her if she were trans.

At one point in the videos, a police vehicle is seen rolling by, its blue lights flashing. Eden's text recounts that she was praying the police would intervene, but after slowing down to take a look at the situation, the vehicle speeds up and drives away.

Eventually police did arrive on the scene and begin to question onlookers, who denied having any knowledge of events.

But the videos indicate otherwise, and it was by looking at those images that the police were able to identify suspects, much as Eden herself identified four men she claimed were guilty of various crimes against her and her friends.

One of the suspects was identified by KCAL 9 as 29-year-old Carlton Calloway, whom the news channel said was the "primary suspect," accused of the initial theft of the phone, the assault on Jaslene, and threatening Eden with a crowbar. He faces a "hate crime enhancement" in his charges, the report noted.

Calloway reportedly took to social media, himself, to post about the attack.

LAPD Deputy Chief Justin Eisenberg spoke at a news conference on Aug. 20, telling the media, "What was particularly callous about these crimes was the actions of the onlookers."

City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell also spoke, expressing deep shock and dismay at "this level of violence celebrated gleefully, so much so that the perpetrator himself posted on social media," the KCAL report said.

O'Farrell added that the video record of the events was "like a sucker punch to all of us who believe in civilized behavior."

The KCAL 9 report said that a second suspect, Willie Walker, was also arrested and faces "extortion charges."

Police are still looking for a third suspect, Davion Williams, who is wanted for assault, the news channel added.

The attack is emblematic of soaring anti-trans violence that has claimed record numbers of victims around the country in recent years. The Human Rights Campaign tracks instances of lethal anti-trans bias crime, and reports that in this year along, 26 known trans victims have died at the hands of killers thought to have targeted them for their gender identity. The HRC noted that those 26 cases may fall well short of the actual number since such crimes can be mislabeled by police, misreported, or the victims misgendered.

Residents responded to the vicious nature of the assault - and the callousness of bystanders who recorded the events rather than help the victims - by marching in a demonstration along Hollywood Boulevard, the site of the attack.

Watch the KCAL 9 news clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.