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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Trans rights activist Anjali Rimi, president and co-founder of Parivar, was injured during an attempted robbery attempt late July 23rd evening.

The incident took place on 5th Street & Mission Street in downtown San Francisco at approximately 11:34 pm. The victim has described the attack as a hate crime. But the San Francisco Police Department is investigating the case as an attempted robbery, noting there is no evidence to support the charge of a hate crime. The investigation is active and ongoing. No suspects have been arrested as of July 26 evening.

Purse Snatching Or Hate Crime?

Earlier that evening, Rimi had attended a celebration of the trailer release for the documentary: “Parivaar: A Family Unlike Anyother.” She was wearing a saree, artificial jewelry, and carrying a purse. Her friend, Bangladeshi transgender artist and activist Ali Asgar Tara, carried two bags, one with a laptop visible, and was wearing a black shirt.

According to Rimi, “The attacker was at the light on a motorcycle waiting and waiting until we got halfway through the crosswalk. He then came at me.” She originally thought her purse was being grabbed. “But I realized he was grabbing my hand and trying to take me with him.”

Dressed In A Saree

After the attack, Rimi and Tara ran to their hotel and called the police. 

Officer Kathryn Winters, ​an L​G​B​T​Q​+ Liaison Officer with the San Francisco Police Department, told India Currents in an email: “When officers arrived on scene, they were met by the victim. The victim told officers she was crossing the street when an unknown suspect pulled up on a motorcycle and attempted to take her purse.” 

“The victim and the suspect struggled over the purse, and the victim was able to prevent the suspect from taking it. The suspect then fled the scene. The victim told officers she was not injured and refused medical attention.”

Multiple Injuries

Rimi said it felt like her arm had come apart from her body. She checked into a hospital the next day because she was too scared to go anywhere that same night. She has a bruise on her back, ligament tears and a right hand she is unable to use. “I’m in a bit more pain than I thought I would be.”

“I was the only one in that intersection who was in an outfit that probably caught his attention,” said Rimi, alleging that this was a bias-related attack based on her ethnicity. She noted that the attacker did not come after Ali, who was carrying a visible laptop but not wearing ethnic clothing.

“Nobody helped me. Everyone just crossed the street,” said the noted Bay Area activist. She said she could not identify her attacker as he/she was wearing a helmet.

No Suspects, No Arrests

But Winters said: “There is no indication that this was a prejudice based incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or Text a Tip to TIP411 and begin a text message with SFPD. You may remain anonymous.  

India Currents’ Stop The Hate campaign is made possible with funding from the California State Library (CSL) in partnership with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs (CAPIAA). The views expressed on this website and other materials produced by India Currents do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the CSL, CAPIAA or the California government.

Copyright indiacurrents.com. The story and photos may not be published or reproduced without express written permission from publisher@indiacurrents.com. 

Sree Sripathy

Sree Sripathy is a writer, photographer and disability advocate based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a 2022 CatchLight Local Fellow and part of the California Local Visual Desk program. Sree also...