Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

National and local reactions to police officer's attack on transgender woman pour in

The Human Rights Campaign was among the first to condemn the vicious assault by a Memphis police officer upon a transgender woman in custody.

"This type of profound violence is the exact thing that police officers are supposed to protect people from," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "HRC is calling for a full criminal investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."

The news was picked up quickly by national GLBT blog Bilerico, with Alex Blaze providing the coverage.

Locally, the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition was the first group to release a statement. President Marisa Richmond calls out Shelby County DA and potential gubernatorial candidate William Gibbons:

"This reprehensible attack upon a person who was not resisting simply because of her gender expression has no place in a civilized society," said Dr. Marisa Richmond, President of TTPC. "The brutality of this attack must be dealt with by the judicial system. If Shelby County District Attorney, William Gibbons, who is reportedly considering a run for Governor in 2010, will not prosecute the officers involved for this obvious hate crime, then he should be removed from office for dereliction of duty," continues Richmond.

Out & About Newspaper has run its own story. In that piece, the Tennessee Equality Project said that our Shelby County Committee has reached out to local law enforcement to find ways of preventing this kind of incident from happening again, even as we condemn the attack. In the interview, we also called on Senators Alexander and Corker to support the Matthew Shepard Act, which would add gender identity and sexual orientation to federal hate crimes protections.

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