(Reuters) - A transgender male died from injuries sustained in an assault at a homeless encampment in Vermont, about a week after police found him lying on the ground with head trauma, officials said.
Amos Beede, 38, died on Sunday at a hospital from injuries including facial fractures and broken ribs, Burlington Police said in a statement.
Police have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime because of Beede's transgender identification, the statement said.
Neither department officials nor the detective on the case could be immediately reached for comment or additional details.
According to the Burlington Free Press, police have identified two persons of interest in the case, both transient residents of Burlington. Police did not say whether they were suspects in the assault, the newspaper said.
Transgender rights have become a topic of national debate in recent months following controversy over a state law in North Carolina barring transgender people from using the bathroom matching their gender identity and requiring them to use the one corresponding to their gender assigned at birth.
North Carolina and the U.S. Justice Department are suing each other over the law, while officials from at least 11 states are also suing the Obama administration over its directive to public schools to allow transgender students to use their bathroom of choice.
Officials from those 11 states said their aim was to protect children from predators, but transgender rights advocates argue it is transgender people who need protection, particularly transgender women who are disproportionately the victims of assaults.
(Reporting by Justin Madden in Chicago; editing by Daniel Trotta and G Crosse)