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Amazingly, a transformation of police behaviour is taking place!
Los Angles Police Chief Charlie Beck responded to this horrific news by announcing that police will no longer conduct pat downs of reproductive organs to determine natal sex before locking up people identifying as transgender or transsexual. He also said by early May a 20 bed facility would be opened for transgender detainees, so they can me housed safely.
I know from experience in Texas the police force often requires special attention in order for them to become more aware of our needs, so who in the huge city of Los Angles should we thank?
Turns out a number of folks. Huge Kudos's go out to Trans Hero Karina Samala and Transgender Law Center's Executive Director Masen Davis.
But these changes have a more profound affect than where trans people will be housed, its about respect. Its about what our hard work as a worldwide community has achieved. As this excerpt from the LA Times announcing the changes so readily points out:
"Davis said the move began in 2007 and involved numerous, long meetings, a survey of transgender people regarding their contacts with Los Angeles police and finally a report last year of recommended policy changes."
"He said the changes reflected not just the LAPD's willingness to listen, but also an increasing political maturity and activism among transgender people."
"(LA Police Chief) Beck agreed. "We've made some real progress," he said, "some of the strongest progress in American law enforcement on the transgender issue."
"Asked how he would deal with officers who violate the policy, as well as any lingering culture of disrespect toward transgender people within the department, Beck replied that he was in charge of discipline and that "rules in the L.A. Police Department are meant to be followed."
And with all due respect Chief Beck, with all of our due diligence these orders will be adhered to.