June 24, 2008
Excessive Force Caught on Tape
A Memphis police officer used what appears to be blatant excessive force against a transsexual woman because she refused to answer to epithets. The entire incident was caught on tape and can be viewed at alternet.org. The officer hit her, sprayed her with mace, and another officer assisted him by holding her shoulders even though she was not hitting back and was unarmed. The officer who held the woman was fired and the other officer was placed on administrative leave. The video has been reviewed by the FBI and the District Attorney for possible civil rights violations.
The victim's attorneys point out that this is particularly disturbing because the officers are supposed to protect us, not hurt us. It is also disturbing that the officers appear to believe that it was perfectly appropriate to make derogatory comments to and use force against the victim due to her transsexual status.