Last November at the TDOR Little Rock’s new chief of police issued guidelines for the treatment of transgender people so its pretty certain this won’t sit well with him.
A reader send a screen shot to Max Brantley at the Arkansas Times of a Facebook post on a page that appears to be that of a Little Rock police officer. Brantley wrote “Until I’ve heard from her, I’ll just show the note and not the name of the officer, who was commenting on the Seattle-Green Bay football game.”
Brantley wrote I asked the police information officer, Lt. Sidney Allen, about it. His response:
“The Little Rock Police Department was made aware of this post earlier this week. An internal investigation was started at that time.”
“As with all investigations we will not comment until the investigation has been concluded.”
Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner recently instituted orders concerning how Little Rock officers should conduct themselves during interactions with transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Local LGBT advocates say that the policy changes, which include how and when officers should approach, address, detain, transport and search trans people, are a step in the right direction, and a model for other communities in Arkansas to follow.
*Officers are ordered to address transgender people by the person’s adopted name, even if the individual has not legally changed his or her name. Officers must also address the person by the pronoun associated with their identified gender.
*Officers cannot consider transgender status as reasonable suspicion or prima facie evidence that the person is or has been involved in a crime.
*Officers are forbidden from stopping, detaining or searching a person wholly or in part to determine a person’s gender or “to call attention to the person’s gender expression.”
*Searches of transgender suspects will be conducted by two officers of the suspect’s identifying gender, though if two officers of that gender are not available, the search will proceed anyway. Transgender people will not be subject to “more invasive search or frisk procedure” than non-transgender suspects.
*Officers are forbidden from using language “that a reasonable person would consider demeaning or derogatory — in particular, language aimed at a person’s actual or perceived gender identity.”