[UPDATED-2]Transgender woman tasered in crotch by BLM Ranger

BLM ranger tazers unarmed trans woman holding her hands in the air. (LGBT News Video)

THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATED 2, Dec. 15, 2011, see below] A trans woman standing still, outside of her vehicle, with her hands held high in the air is tazered in the abdomen.  Shortly after she fell to the ground, tazered in the crotch. That’s what the video shows. The fact of the matter is law enforcement isn’t supposed to use tazers unless there is an apparent danger to them. The victim, Brooke Fantelli, clearly appeared to be fully co-operating with the two Bureau of Land Management rangers.

While the events leading up to the tazering remain to be fully confirmed, Fantelli was in the desert by El Centro participating in a photo shoot just prior to being approached by the rangers. Some reports are saying she was shot after the rangers discovered she is transgender.

While the BLM is saying the ranger “targeted appropriately” (aiming for large body mass in lower part of body), they have not commented whether the shooting was appropriate.

In my opinion the BLM has a PR nightmare on their hands — the subject had no weapons, hands high in the air, co-operating fully and CAPTURED ON VIDEO. They ought to fest up to the procedure blunder and fire the ranger and settle this out of court pronto!


UPDATE Dec. 9, 2010. From KSWT-TV News:

“Fantelli’s attorney, Dana L. Douglas, says her client was at a photo shoot with some friends at a field in Ocotillo Wells. Douglas says the rangers were watching Fantelli and her friends for an hour from inside their patrolling vehicle. Fantelli then approached the rangers and told them they were making her friends feel uncomfortable. This is when the rangers got out of their car and tased Fantelli causing her to fall on her back.

Although Fantelli has not been formally charged because the BLM has not filed a report, she attended a court hearing for allegedly resisting arrest, among other allegations. Fantelli’s attorney says the allegations are false. Douglas says the rangers acted in a discriminatory manner.”


UPDATE 2: More details from the victim, charges from the BLM have yet to be filed: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=35200


View the video:



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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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6 replies

  1. BLM – Bureau of Land Management??

    Please clarify within the article. I did see that my guess is correct after going to watch the video.

    I think one of the officers said “public drunkenness.” Was that a charge against Brooke?

    Brooke clearly shouted toward the videographer, before any tazer activity started, to take pictures. Why? Was she verbally provoking the officers? The videographer was too far away to pick up the voices.

    It does appear that she’s unarmed and cooperating.. but was she complying with the officer’s commands? Hard to tell.

    I do hope she is okay. I think we need more facts though.

  2. I agree, we do need more facts. The news reports I’ve looked at seem vague, or contradictory, so I left those “facts” out, including the public drunkenness claim. It may be true, however the news agency seemed to be exploiting the transgender aspect so I didn’t want to cite them.

    It also appears that BLM wasn’t called to the scene by a third party, so the BLM rangers didn’t knowingly enter a situation that called for heightened danger awareness from the get go.

    There was also a second ranger standing nearby and there was no attempt to take her into custody. Had they attempted to do so and she resisted, then the tazering option would be ok.

    Mouthing off to police officers with ones hands in the air doesn’t ever call for tazering unless perhaps there is a crowd and the officers feel their lives are in danger.

    I am looking forward to finding out more about this incident as details become available.

    Thanks for your comments.

    And yes, BLM – Bureau of Land Management. 🙂

  3. “There was also a second ranger standing nearby and there was no attempt to take her into custody. Had they attempted to do so and she resisted, then the tazering option would be ok.”

    If they told Fantelli to turn around and put her hands behind her back, or told her to get down on the ground and put her hands behind her head, and she refused to listen, she is resisting arrest and disobeying the instructions of a law enforcement officer. If she said, “oh yeah, just try to arrest me and I’ll kick your ass”, the officer could say he felt threatened and used his own judgment as to what he felt was the safest method of taking her into custody.

    There are endless scenarios that could have happened, so unless you were there, and witnessed first-hand what took place, any judgment based solely on the video with unclear audio is premature.


  1. Escalating police humiliation and violence against transgender people? « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes
  2. Trans woman sues U.S. gov’t over tasering by park ranger « The Guerrilla Angel Report by Lexie Cannes

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