Boston police issue transgender search guidelines

The Boston Globe
|
June 12, 2013

The Boston Police Department has issued antidiscrimination guidelines for police interactions with transgender individuals that offer them new protections during searches and bookings. The new policies were announced Tuesday, several months after the city settled a lawsuit filed by a transgender woman against officers who arrested her for refusing to leave a women’s bathroom at a Boston homeless shelter. Brenda Wernikoff contended that several male officers forced her to remove her shirt and expose her breasts. Throughout the incident, police referred to her as a man, she said. Under the new policies, reached after lengthy negotiations between police and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, police must address transgender individuals by their adopted name and must use appropriate pronouns. Transgender individuals cannot be subjected to additional invasive search or frisk procedures, the policy states. Prisoners can request the gender of the officers conducting the search.