42% of LA Latino Transgender Woman Have Been Propositioned For Sex...By Police!

A study by the Williams Institute just released its findings after interviewing 220 Latino transgender woman in LA and astonishingly reported that "....police officers accounted for the majority of negative reactions reported, representing 56 percent of all verbal harassment cases, and 16 and 15 percent of all reported physical and sexual assaults respectively. When asked whether they had ever been solicited for sex by a police officer or other law enforcement personnel, 42 percent responded in the affirmative." 42% PERCENT!

For the Full Report click Here

Amazingly, a transformation of police behaviour is taking place!

Los Angles Police Chief Charlie Beck responded to this horrific news by announcing that police will no longer conduct pat downs of reproductive organs to determine natal sex before locking up people identifying as transgender or transsexual. He also said by early May a 20 bed facility would be opened for transgender detainees, so they can me housed safely.

I know from experience in Texas the police force often requires special attention in order for them to become more aware of our needs, so who in the huge city of Los Angles should we thank?

Turns out a number of folks. Huge Kudos's go out to Trans Hero Karina Samala and Transgender Law Center's Executive Director Masen Davis.

But these changes have a more profound affect than where trans people will be housed, its about respect. Its about what our hard work as a worldwide community has achieved. As this excerpt from the LA Times announcing the changes so readily points out:

"Davis said the move began in 2007 and involved numerous, long meetings, a survey of transgender people regarding their contacts with Los Angeles police and finally a report last year of recommended policy changes."

"He said the changes reflected not just the LAPD's willingness to listen, but also an increasing political maturity and activism among transgender people."

"(LA Police Chief) Beck agreed. "We've made some real progress," he said, "some of the strongest progress in American law enforcement on the transgender issue."

"Asked how he would deal with officers who violate the policy, as well as any lingering culture of disrespect toward transgender people within the department, Beck replied that he was in charge of discipline and that "rules in the L.A. Police Department are meant to be followed."

And with all due respect Chief Beck, with all of our due diligence these orders will be adhered to.

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