Thursday, May 06, 2010

African-American Transwoman Suing DC Police For Civil Rights Violations

People are learning the not so nice details about what happened to Autumn Sandeen after she was arrested during an April 30 anti-DADT protest in DC.

Thanks to Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia we have new information about another case of Po-Po's Gone Wild and harassing a transwoman while under arrest.

Patti Shaw's case was originally talked about in an Amnesty International report 'Stonewalled', detailing the police abuse that LGBT people face.

Now the 44 year old African-American post operative transwoman is suing the District of Columbia, the U.S. Attorney General and the U.S. Marshal's Service, for $10 million, alleging civil rights violations, assault, battery, negligence and infliction of emotional distress in that 2003 case.

Patti's story starts after her purse came up missing and she phoned in a report to the DC Police. She found the purse after filing the report, but ironically was robbed of that purse while taking her dogs out for a walk that evening.

When the DC police finally responded and Shaw told her story, a detective asked her rude questions. Shaw says that several days later, the detective told her "that he did not believe her story and he said that he was going to issue a warrant for her arrest for making a false report to a police officer."

According to Shaw, she was told by the officer to turn herself in to the 6th Precinct "within a couple days or she would be arrested."

Shaw stated she complied with the request and reported to the precinct at 4 AM. When the officers on duty learned her old male name during the intake process, they ignored her legally changed ID identifying her as female and sent her into the men's prison.

During the intake process, Shaw says she was searched by a male marshal in the view of other marshals who made transphobic jokes and used incorrect pronouns about her breasts.

One marshal commenting about Shaw's breasts stated, "those must be implants, because hormones don't make breasts stand up so perky like that."

Another marshal according to Shaw stated about her breasts, "He's the best I've ever seen."

Her nightmare was only beginning. It got worse after she was sent to the holding facility and had to interact with cis male prisoners.

Shaw said that "Several of the men in the holding facility touched her inappropriately, verbally harassed and propositioned her, threatened to punch her if she did not show her breasts and shook their penises at her.

When she asked to be taken to another location to urinate, Shaw was forced "to urinate in a cup in full view of the men in the holding facility."

She says she suffered physical and emotional damages, including stress, anxiety and depression. She's seeking with the help of her attorney Karl-Henri Gauvin $5 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages.

I'm extremely interested in finding out how this police abuse case transpires. Because like Queen Emily, I'm wondering why was she even arrested in the first place unless somebody wanted to inappropriately flex some police power and jack with Shaw for whatever transphobic reason.

H/T Questioning Transphobia

1 comment:

Zoe Renee said...

thank you for posting this article monica. I pray to God that this doesn't end like the other case of the transwoman that stood up to the injustice of the police :( I hope that justice is rightfully served