THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — [UPDATE – Trans arrestees will be housed separately. See below.] Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck announced a new policy for its officers to follow when dealing with the transgender community during stops and searches. The policy states officers are not to question the person’s expressed gender and cannot engage in questioning or frisking for the purpose of finding out their anatomical gender.
With minor offenses, trans people are allowed a bit of leeway in choosing gender of the officer handling them. When removal of prosthetics or wigs is required, the policy states the LAPD must handle trans people consistent with the requirements for handling non-transgender people.
Transgender Law Center’s Masen Davis: “This is a huge victory for transgender people who may interact with the police, and for transgender inmates.”
Knowing of trans people being harassed by police or first hand experience is something that many trans people have in common and with the LAPD joining a number of larger law enforcement agencies having such policies there may come a time when trans people may not fear interaction with the police.
UPDATE — April 12, 2012 From the LA Times:
The Los Angeles Police Department will begin housing arrested transgender men and women in a women’s jail by the end of the month, making it what administrators believe is the first police department in the country to do so.
The announcement came Thursday night from Capt. Dave Lindsay, commander of the department’s jail division, speaking to a meeting in Hollywood of transgender people with police Chief Charlie Beck and members of the city’s Police Commission.
Capt. David Lindsay said: “This is a major change that will allow for “an environment that’s safe and secure, as there’s been a history of violence against transgender people” in jail.”
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