Check out this video of a brutal police beating in a police station. A Memphis police officer didn't like the fact that Duanna Johnson, a black transwoman, didn't respond to the names "faggot" or "he/she," so he beat her with handcuffs and sprayed her with mace, and no one, not even the nurse who was sent out, helped her.
Black transwoman got beaten by cops and no one caredFollow @freedom2marry
Actually he was trying to get me to come over to where he was, and I responded by telling him that wasn't my name - that my mother didn't name me a 'faggot' or a 'he-she,' so he got upset and approached me. And that's when it started," Johnson said.
Johnson said the officer was attempting to call her over to be fingerprinted. She said she chose not respond to the derogatory name the officer called her.
"He said, 'I'm telling you, I'm giving you one more chance to get up.' So I'm looking at him, and he started putting his gloves on, and seen him take out a pair of handcuffs," Johnson said.
The officer hit Johnson several times with the handcuffs wrapped around his knuckles. In the video, you can see the flash of the metal. The tape shows another officer holding Johnson's shoulders as she tries to protect herself.
After taking several blows, Johnson stands up and swings back.
"I was afraid. I had had enough. Like I said, I thought the other officers that were witnessing this would at least try to stop him," Johnson said. "I mean, he hit me so hard. Like the third time he hit me, it split my skull and I had blood coming out. So I jumped up," Johnson said.
But then she sat back down, and the officer her in the face again. Then he maced her. On the tape, other people in the room are seen turning away and fanning their hands because of the smell.
There's an "FBI investigation into possible civil rights violations." Possible?
Yes, I know there's a process, but if they can't see what we all just saw, that two cops beat up someone and no one cared, then there's no credibility in the process.
This is why transgender people need civil rights protections and need the support of the broader LGBT community, as well as the broader American community. There are lots of people out there who don't think that they're even human and see this sort of thing as just fine.
(As Autumn points out, this has a way of happening more to Black transwomen than others in the trans community. These issues intersect.)
As Marti Abernathey said to me in IM after I sent her the link:
this kind of thing is why we are leery of cops...
And, no, the fact that she allegedly was a prostitute doesn't change anything.
(link via Pam)