Saturday, June 21, 2008

Duanna Johnson Update

Here's more video, CNN Headline News analysis and a portion of a local television interview Duanna Johnson did with a Memphis TV reporter.

She has either filed or is about to file a $1.3 million lawsuit against the city of Memphis, and the feds are investigating for possible civil rights violations.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition, run by Dr. Marisa Richmond commented on this issue:

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) denounces the cowardly attack by Memphis Police Officers upon Duanna Johnson, an African American transgender woman on February 12.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition was first made aware of this attack several weeks ago, but we did not issue a public statement in deference to Ms. Johnson's attorney's wishes. Last night's release by Memphis station WMC-TV of the video, capturing the brutality of the attack, and the indifference to her suffering by other members of the Memphis Police Department as well as by the attending nurse allows us to comment today.

"This reprehensible attack upon a person who was not resisting simply because of her gender expression has no place in a civilized society," said Dr. Marisa Richmond, President of TTPC. "The brutality of this attack must be dealt with by the judicial system. If Shelby County District Attorney, William Gibbons, who is reportedly considering a run for Governor in 2010, will not prosecute the officers involved for this obvious hate crime, then he should be removed from office for dereliction of duty," continues Richmond.

This past Saturday, the Memphis Police Department had a recruiting booth at Mid South Pride in Memphis, just steps away from the TTPC booth. "While we welcome the MPD's outreach effort to the GLBT community of Memphis, the fact that they still have not fired the officer who actually performed the assault calls into question their commitment to opening their doors to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and especially, transgender employees. Their presence at Pride was an important step, but the video shows how far they have to go," maintains Richmond.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition extends our sympathies and support to Johnson and her legal team.

Stay tuned...this is going to get very interesting. It helps make our case that we transpeople are under attack even by the people who are supposed to serve and protect us, and we can no longer afford to 'wait' to have our civil rights recognized as Barney and HRC wish.


Trinity said...

Is it just me, or does it sound like that shrink is not so much explaining the insecurities that give rise to this horrible behavior, but excusing it (somewhat, anyway) also? Ick.

Monica Roberts said...

I may have to look at that again.

Kelli Busey said...

As a over the road driver when you get within CB range you are constantly barraged 24/7 by pushers and hookers. It is always debated if the police were selling, entrapping or both. It was in the news every so often that the entire contents of the Memphis evidence locker, big$ and tons of drugs would get lost. The cops looked a the civilians, but neither would point. Then the drug dealers would hit the CB twice fold. Over and over. Hmmm sounds like dirty cops.

dmgates said...

It hurt me deeply to see another human being treated this way. I am so sorry that Ms. Johnson went through this.

Mary said...

Does anyone know why the "raw footage" of Duanna Johnson's beating was apparently removed from the web? All that seems to be available now is a cut version that begins with the officer beating the suspect, which might leave room for the public to believe Ms. Johnson may have done something before the tape rolls to start the assault. The raw footage shows her sitting in her chair. Want to know more SECRETS about the jail where Ms. Johnson was incarcerated -- including its dirty HISTORY of violence toward people who are considered deviant or different? SEE:


Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill