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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 17, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 20
Cops routinely mistreat Trans people, NCTE says
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Cops routinely mistreat Trans people, NCTE says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Police routinely mistreat Transgender people, a new report from the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) says.

The report is based on research into the practices of 25 police forces in the United States and was released May 7. Seattle was not one of the cities studied.

The document also referenced data from the NCTE's 2015 Transgender Survey, which found that more than half of Trans people who had been in contact with US police forces had been mistreated. More than half also said they would be uncomfortable calling local police when they need help, out of fear of potential mistreatment.

Of the 25 police forces studied, the NCTE found that:

o No department explicitly requires regular training on Transgender interaction policies for all members of all ranks.

o No department required officers to record the name currently being used by an individual they contact, or to distinguish that from the individual's legal name.

o No department explicitly provides for Transgender individuals to be transported along with individuals of the same gender identity.

o Only two departments explicitly prohibited sexual conduct between officers and those in their custody.

o Out of the sixteen departments with holding facilities, only four adequately address access to hormone medications.

o Out of the sixteen departments with holding facilities, 10 failed to provide specific guidance on housing placement for Transgender individuals.

o A majority of departments (16 of 25) fail to provide search procedures for Transgender individuals and/or require officers to perform searches based on sex as assigned at birth or genitalia.

o Only nine of the 25 departments include gender identity and/or expression language in their nondiscrimination policy.

US police forces are in need of 'reform and oversight,' the report concludes. The report recommends that police forces across the US should adopt policies to accommodate Transgender people.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the NCTE, said that most anti-trans abuse in the United States continues to be directed at transgender people of color.

'If we ever hope to end this crisis, police departments must evolve to meet the needs of the communities they have sworn to serve,' Keisling said.

'The solutions we offer can lead these communities and our nation's law enforcement to a more equitable future, but we must get there together.'

According to the NCTE's 2015 US Transgender Survey:

o A majority of transgender people (58%) who interacted with police in the last year were mistreated, by being verbally harassed, repeatedly misgendered, physically assaulted, or sexually assaulted, including being forced by officers to engage in sexual activity to avoid arrest.

o One in eight (17%) Black Transgender people report having been physically assaulted, sexually assaulted, or forced to engage in sex with an officer to avoid arrest.

o One in three Black Trans women said the officers they interacted with assumed they were engaged in sex work.

o A majority (57%) of transgender people said they would be afraid to ask the police for help.

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