A trans woman who was brutally attacked in Denver last week says she was targetted because of her identity.
Amber Nicole suffered a broken jaw and burst blood vessels in her left eye following the incident. She says that doctors have told her from the nerve damage on one side of her face.
The 23-year-old had been on a night out with friends on 28 April when she was attacked by two men.
Denver police have said they are treating the attack as a ‘normal assault’, but have confirmed their bias-motivated crime unit is involved in the investigation.
Nicole’s friends and family have launched a GoFundMe page to help raise money for her medical bills. In under four days, the account has raised over $15,000 of its $50,000 goal.
‘We felt like these two men were going to attack us’
Nicole says she and her friends had just left a bar in downtown Denver in the early hours of the morning when the men started following and harassing them. Nicole began videoing the incident.
‘We felt like these two men were going to attack us,’ she said.
‘I’m pretty much giving warning in this video that if anything does happen to me, I was attacked by these two men.’
Nicole said she tried to walk away and get help when she was assaulted. Her friend reportedly found her lying on the ground begging the men to stop hitting her.
‘Our bias-motivated crime unit is involved in the investigation’
A police report says that an unidentified male suspect who struck ‘the victim three (3) times in the face with a closed fist causing a suspected broken jaw’.
Speaking to NBC News, Carlos Montoya, public information officer for the Denver Police Department, said: ‘We’re still investigating it as a normal assault, but our bias-motivated crime unit is involved in the investigation.’
Nicole and her family have spoken out against attacks on the trans community.
‘If you can’t accept someone for who they are or what they are, then turn and walk away,’ she said. ‘There’s no need to hurt people.’
‘People should step in,’ added Nicole’s mother, Juliann Martinez. ‘Don’t be afraid. We’re afraid too. We’re afraid that every time we let our daughters go out we have to worry.’