March 19, 2012

chains prison

If you thought that the NYPD reserved their cruelty only for the Occupy Wall Street protesters, you'd be so very wrong.

A trans woman says that when she was arrested for a minor subway violation, NYPD officers belittled her, called her names, asked about her genitals — and kept her chained to a fence for 28 hours. Now she's suing. And it turns out she's far from alone.

She's far from alone, and there are plenty of lawsuits against NYC and the NYPD to prove it. Among the many lawsuits, one from an Occupy Wall Street protester:

In October, Justin Adkins, director of the Multicultural Center at Williams College, was arrested for protesting on the Brooklyn Bridge as part of Occupy Wall Street. At The Bilerico Project, he reports almost exactly the same treatment that Breslauer got. When a male officer found out Adkins was trans, he asked Adkins what he "had down there." Then, at the the station, this happened:

"They had me sit down in a chair next to the filthy toilet, and handcuffed my right wrist to a metal

"Why was I segregated from all of the other protestors? Perhaps the answer lay in the fact that
police officers were coming by to ogle me, and were laughing and giggling at me through a window.
It was obvious that prisoners were rarely handcuffed to a railing in this manner, because a number
of officers asked a female officer why I was handcuffed to the railing. She told them something, I
couldn't hear what, but then, on each of these occasions, they would laugh and giggle while looking
at me pointedly."

These failures to treat transgendered people as human beings scream out to be addressed promptly, yet the same abuses by the NYPD have been going on for years now, and the above mentioned cruelties are but of few of the many. And while it all may be just sh*ts and giggles for the officers involved, I'd say that being strip-searched (and while in chains, no less!) for no other reason than to have male and female police officers gawk and laugh at your physical anatomy should also be considered a sexual assault that is prosecuted as such.

Full story at Jezebel.

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