Seattle police have arrested Artega Jackson and have a warrant to arrest Marjorie Marple for allegedly attacking a woman they thought was transgender. The victim told police she was photographing a garbage problem on 3rd Avenue and Virginia Street around 2 a.m. on June 11.
She said Jackson and Marple accosted her because they thought she was photographing them. The victim started recording video on her iPhone and one of the suspects started yelling. Court documents also said the suspects pulled the victim’s wig from her head and then called her a man and a transsexual.
Sgt. Sean Whitcomb of the Seattle Police Department said the suspects became more aggressive when they thought the victim was transgender. The victim told police she was kicked and punched, but was eventually able to retreat into a nearby apartment lobby.
Washington State’s malicious harassment law provides that a person is guilty of malicious harassment if he or she maliciously and intentionally commits one of the following acts because of his or her perception of the victim’s sexual orientation (which includes gender identity):
(a) Causes physical injury to the victim or another person;
(b) Causes physical damage to or destruction of the property of the victim or another person; or
(c) Threatens a specific person or group of persons and places that person, or members of the specific group of persons, in reasonable fear of harm to person or property. The fear must be a fear that a reasonable person would have under all the circumstances. For purposes of this section, a “reasonable person” is a reasonable person who is a member of the victim’s race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, or sexual orientation, or who has the same mental, physical, or sensory handicap as the victim. Words alone do not constitute malicious harassment unless the context or circumstances surrounding the words indicate the words are a threat. Threatening words do not constitute malicious harassment if it is apparent to the victim that the person does not have the ability to carry out the threat.
Query what happens to women who feel that they are being filmed by a man (or threatened by a man) and take action in response. It seems that the women here took action against the victim not because they perceived her to be transgender, but because they perceived her to be a man filming them without their consent. Washington State bans voyeurism; it is unclear that this statute would apply as it appears the women were out in public.