Do police officers treat transgender people differently?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Civil Rights

If you are transgender, you may always have some concern for your personal safety. After all, while attitudes are slowly changing, transgender people are still more than four times more likely to become victims of violent crime than their cisgender counterparts. Regrettably, you may not receive the help you need from the police.

Officers often receive precious little training on interacting with members of the LGBTQ+ community. Personal prejudices may cause officers to treat you differently or even to mock or disparage you. If you find yourself in custody, though, you may fall victim to abuse, neglect and other civil rights violations.

A lack of trans-friendly housing

Prisons and jails across the U.S. are not hospitable places, but transgender inmates often encounter a lack of trans-friendly housing. That is, they often must share the same spaces with cisgender inmates who may physically assault them.

To combat the problem, officials often move transgender inmates to solitary confinement. Solitary confinement can be downright brutal, as inmates often have limited communication with family members and friends.

The risk of official violence

Other inmates are not your only concern, of course, as there is no shortage of official abuse. This abuse may happen in a variety of ways.

During your arrest, officers may use an inappropriate level of force. They also may assault you before you post bail or when you are serving a jail sentence. Likewise, if officers deny you access to prescription medication, they may violate your fundamental right to appropriate medical treatment.

You do not have to stand idly by while officers take away your civil rights. Ultimately, legal recourse, including financial compensation, is often available for transgender people who have experienced mistreatment.


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