In January a trans woman was assaulted in Spokane. It’s pretty horrible stuff, and you can read the details here. It’s pretty unsettling, but the relevant bit for the police is:
Scamahorn said responding officers treated her with disrespect and referred to her as a man throughout their investigation.
One officer said Scamahorn appeared to be intoxicated, but witnesses disagreed, and she said fluid buildup in her throat after the beating made it difficult for her to talk and breathe.
She also said police would not allow the bartender to help her as she lay on the floor in her own blood and vomit.
Now the police have investigated how the police acted and found the police did nothing wrong, and now a Spokane city council member wants the Human Rights Commission to apologize.* For the fact that a trans woman spoke out about her treatment. It’s pretty gross.
But leaving that to one side. Also leave aside the fact that cops claiming an assault victim was drunk seems pretty damn unprofessional on its face. Even if “the police officers on the scene were not acting inappropriately” as Spokane City Council Member Mike Fagan says, the officers certainly left the impression with her that they called her a man and didn’t allow the bartender to help her. It seems like officers should be able to not leave that impression if they’re doing everything right. Of course, I’m more inclined to believe her than the cops, but I haven’t read the report.
And to be clear, they caught the people who did this. That’s probably progress from a few decades ago. But there’s still further to go.
* I should say, I don’t know enough about Spokane to know if an Internal Affairs review is rigorous or not. If anyone has more knowledge, I’d love to hear it in the comments.