Published on April 12th, 2012 | by Wild Gender1
LAPD to Trans Folk: We’ll Stop Assuming You Are Engaged in Criminal Sex Work
LOS ANGELES, Ca — According to a memo issued today by Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Chief, the force is hoping to more “respectfully” interact with transgender people.
Chief Beck hopes to “create mutual understanding, prevent discrimination and conflict, and ensure appropriate treatment of transgender individuals,” he wrote in the memo that was issued department wide today.
In a surprisingly simple, yet unprecedented move, the policy states that once a person expresses their gender identity, reporting officers must “respect the expressed gender and…not question it.”
And Beck bars officers from frisking or strip searching any person with the intention to non-consensually “reveal” their gender identity. According to the memo, when LAPD interacts with a trans person who needs to be search for “safety,” officers of any gender may conduct the search. In more routine situations, a trans person may request an officer of a specific gender identity to conduct the search.
And the memo stresses that requests to remove wigs, prosthetics or cosmetics will be “consistent with requirements for the removal of similar items from non-transgender individuals.”
Maybe this kind of policy will help reduce the unbelievable violence perpetrated against transgender people by the police. Until then, the number one issuer of violence against gender variant people is still law enforcement.
To address some of these issues, Beck will host a community forum on LAPD’s new procedures, with an emphasis on “the importance of not making the assumption a transgender person is involved in prostitution,” said a statement released by the LAPD.
The forum will also include a discussion of “appropriate language, acknowledgement of an individual’s preferred gender identity and expression, respect for privacy, [and] detailed standards for conducting field searches.”
Plus, Beck and the LAPD are expected to talk about revisions made to the Jail Operations Manual “that improve the processing, housing, custody and protection of transgender inmates.”
The community forum started at 6 p.m. tonight and was expected to host city officials and LGBT community leaders, as well as reps from the mayor’s office, and professionals who helped the LAPD develop their new guidelines.