Downtown Assault Strikes Cord With Human Rights Group

Feb 3, 2015

The Spokane Police Department arrested two men Tuesday on suspicion of assaulting a woman Friday at Boots Bakery. Police arrested Adam Flippen on charges of 2nd degree assault and malicious harassment, and Marc Fessler on one charge of malicious harassment. The assault on the woman, who is transgender, has human rights advocates are on alert.

Friday, Jacina Scamahorn was in the bakery when she says two men came in and attacked her, insulted her with derogatory terms, then ran off. Officers may have made things worse, according to Blaine Stum of the city’s Human Rights Commission. Stum says they would not call her by her correct name or refer to her as female.

Stum: “We… hope that if those allegations are in fact true that there is some corrective action taken against the officers that were involved.”

The police spokesperson says they will also investigate this claim.

Stum says people need to be vigilant in showing that this is not tolerated and to make public places safe for everyone.

Stum: “It’s always kind of startling regardless of where it happens at, but definitely the fact that it happened in a place that I know a lot of members of the community consider a very safe block, particularly Boots, which has been a great resource for the community and a great advocate as well.”

The commission rallied about 150 people to attend the Spokane City Council meeting Monday to raise awareness about the trans community and the attack.

Copyright 2015 Spokane Public Radio