State police to probe Rochester anti-transgender attack

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he was "outraged" by a violent assault on a 30-year-old transgender man in Rochester and was ordering the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to aid in the investigation.

Samson Tequir, a local Black Lives Matter organizer, sustained a broken eye socket and multiple facial fractures in the attack last Friday, which he said may have been partially live streamed on social media.

Tequir was attacked around noon as he and his partner walked home from a corner store. Police released surveillance video showing two suspects, but no arrests have been made. The assailants made anti-gay remarks, he said.

“My story is not new," Tequir told the Democrat and Chronicle, citing a rise in gender-identity bias crimes. “It is not the last one, and I can look around the room I am in right now and find more of those stories just the same.”

Tequir faulted a slow police response for allowing the assailants to get away.

There was a 36-minute lag between the time a 911 call was placed and when officers were dispatched, which the police department said was because they were tied up on other jobs. It took another eight minutes for officers to arrive.

Rochester Police Chief La'Ron Singletary said in a statement Wednesday that the department was “utilizing every resource to investigate and apprehend the person(s) responsible for this heinous crime committed in our community.” He added that the police department has no tolerance for any crimes, “let alone a crime that is committed because of an individual's identity.”

Cuomo said in a statement that the state police task force will provide “any and all resources necessary to bring the assailants to justice.”

“I am outraged by reports of an assault against a 30-year-old black transgender man in Rochester," Cuomo said. “New York will never tolerate such rancorous acts of hate.”