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New national report details police's transgender policies
by Matt Simonette
2019-05-22

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A newly released report documents the troubled relationship between transgender Americans and the police departments charged with protecting them.

"Failing to Protect and Serve: Police Department Policies Towards Transgender People" newly released by the National Center for Transgender Equality, notes that "many members of our communities continue to be affected by disproportionate contact with, and often by bias and abuse within, policing and the criminal justice system."

The report noted that about 57 percent of respondents said that they would be uncomfortable contacting the police for help. As such, the authors said their goal was producing recommendations promoting stronger and fairer policies with regards to transgender citizens.

The report examines the intricacies of Chicago Police Department's ( CPD's ) policy on transgender interactions, and details a number of shortcomings. Among those are no recognition of non-binary persons within the scope of the policy; unclear rules with regards to the gender of officers carrying out searches; minimal safety requirements surrounding the transportation of prisoners; and no explicit policy prohibiting sexual misconduct.

Additionally, the policy does require CPD paperwork to list a person's current name, but as an alias. Gender is listed on the basis of government ID, except in cases where the prisoner has undergone surgery.

The report also notes that CPD policy requires officers to address the public with the names and pronouns they currently use, and prohibits immigration status from interfering with police action.

Authors determined that only nine of the 25 police departments profiled included gender identity and/or expression in their non-discrimination policy. They added that, "The better non-discrimination policies explicitly prohibit profiling, harassment and invasive questioning as types of harassment."

The report can be viewed at tinyurl.com/yyl6nx3j.


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