Transgender Man Assaulted in Vermont Homeless Encampment Dies of Injuries, Police Say

Hate-crime charges have not been ruled out in the death of Amos Beede, 38.

ByABC News
May 30, 2016, 11:09 AM

— -- A transgender man has died of wounds suffered from an alleged assault in a Vermont homeless encampment, according to police.

Amos Beede of Milton died Sunday at the University of Vermont Medical Center of injuries that included head trauma, facial fractures and broken ribs, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said in a statement.

Beede, 38, succumbed to his injuries one week after falling victim to an alleged aggravated assault, according to a police statement.

Beede's initial prognosis was positive, with police suggesting he would make a quick recovery. But that did not prove to be the case. The possibility of a hate crime has not been ruled out because of Beede's transgender identification, police said.

It's unclear whether there are suspects in the case, and a call by ABC News requesting comment from lead Det. Jeff Beerworth of the Burlington Police Department was not immediately returned.

Violence against transgender people is on the rise, according to a report issued in 2015 by The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, a national organization devoted to reducing instances of violence against LGBT people. The report indicated that while violence against LGBT issues was declining overall in America, crimes against specifically transgender people were escalating, climbing 13 percent against the broader trend.

The bulk of violence against transgender people is focused on transgender women, according to the report, but some advocates of LGBT rights, like columnist Loree Cook-Daniels argue that violence against transgender is often underreported because of the lack of adequate media coverage on the subject.

"However, what is far less discussed by the media or within the trans/LGB community is that other types of violence — the kinds of violence that affect thousands more trans people than do hate crimes resulting in murder — actually happen at least as often to transmasculine individuals as transfeminine individuals," Cook-Daniels said in a 2015 op-ed published in the LGBT-interest magazine, The Advocate.

That Beede was living in a homeless shelter at the time of his death highlights another obstacle facing transgender people living in America, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, a nonprofit devoted to transgender rights.

"Homelessness is also a critical issue for transgender people; one in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Family rejection and discrimination and violence have contributed to a large number of transgender and other LGBQ-identified youth who are homeless in the United States – an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth," the organization states on a page devoted to the subject of homelessness on their website.

The subject of transgender rights has become a critical one in 2016. North Carolina and the U.S. Justice Department sued each other earlier this month over escalating tensions regarding the state’s law banning transgender people from using bathrooms that don’t match the sex indicated on their birth certificate.

Also, Texas and 10 other states sued the Obama administration last week over its directive to U.S. public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, regardless of what’s on their birth certificates.