Monday, August 29, 2011

Off Duty DC Cop Shoots At Transwomen

As I've stated more than a few times on this blog and had it demonstrated in various incidents, Officer Friendly is at times less than friendly when it comes to protecting and serving, much less respecting the civil and human rights of transpeople.

Don't even get me started talking how they feel about the human rights of transwomen of color.

Once again we get to shine a spotlight on Washington, D.C. and another incident in which transwomen minding their own business interact with an off duty DC cop and it ends up with negative consequences for the transwomen.

This time the perp was 20 year DC veteran po-po Kenneth Furr.   The August 26 incident started when the inebriated Furr approached a transwoman inside a northwest Washington DC CVS store at 5:25 AM EDT and solicited her for sex.   She turned him down and he kept hounding her until he was told by a man accompanying her into the store to leave her alone.  

The unidentified transwoman said in a Washington Post interview, "His eyes were bloodshot,” she said. “I could smell the liquor on his breath. He told me he wanted to pay me to have sex with me. He kept trying to get me in his car.” 

The woman and her friend left the store and got into a car with two other transwomen and a male friend and drove off.   At the corner of First and Pierce Streets NW they were hit from behind by a hostile Furr, who jumped out of his car with his Glock 9 gun drawn, jumped onto the hood of their vehicle and fired shots through the roof into it.

One of the transwomen was struck in the hand, another was grazed by a bullet while the brother of one of the transwomen sustained an injury serious enough to where he is in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital according to Transgender Health Empowerment's Jeri Hughes.

Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray released a statement about the incident that that resulted in Officer Furr being stripped of his police powers.  He is also facing an investigation by MPD's Internal Affairs Division and the Force Investigation Team

Furr was arrested, charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and driving while intoxicated after blowing a .15 during his breath test.

"I am deeply troubled by the apparent circumstances surrounding this incident and await the results of a full MPD investigation,” Mayor Gray said. “These are serious charges, and they are particularly disturbing to have been brought against one who is sworn to protect and serve.”

The disturbing early morning incident led to a 6:30 PM rally organized by THE.and the DC Trans Coalition that was attended by Mayor Gray, local TBLG activists, MPD deputy chief Diane Groomes and 70 people at the First and Pierce Streets location where it occurred..

It was a miracle that as serious as this latest incident was, no one died.  But something transphobic has been brewing in the MPD police culture for some time and Chief Cathy Lanier needs to get to the bottom of it.

If she can't or she's getting resistance, then maybe the Department of Justice needs to get busy taking a look at what's going on in MPD and start cleaning out the transphobic rotten apples.

Transphobia is bad enough in the general population.   It's even worse and can have potentially fatal consequences when it's hiding behind a badge.

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