Police treatment of the transgender population in the U.S. is in dire need of reform, according to new report.
Findings from a survey released by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) based on the U.S. Transgender Survey revealed some sobering statistics that are, unfortunately, an all-too-common reality for over half of trans individuals living in this country: 58% of transgender individuals have experienced harassment, abuse or other mistreatment by law enforcement agents last year.
“On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, transgender people of color remain targets of harassment, abuse, and violence. If we ever hope to end this crisis, police departments must evolve to meet the needs of the communities they have sworn to serve. The solutions we offer can lead these communities and our nation’s law enforcement to a more equitable future, but we must get there together,” NCTE’s executive director Mara Keisling said in a press release.
The report, which was published Monday, evaluated police department policies in the treatment of transgender people in the country’s 25 largest police departments, as measured by full-time staff employees. They were compared with a set of “ideal practices,” as defined in the “Gender, Sexuality, and 21st Century Policing” report, a project by Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) aimed at protecting the LGBTQ community.
The report graded the 25 departments and verified if their policies: reflected, partially reflected, or did not reflect national best practices on 17 topics, including non-binary recognition, bathroom access, and respectful communication.
The results found systemic neglect by police to prevent the mistreatment and of transgender people. The NCTE wants the findings to function as both a wakeup call, as well as a starting point in the improvement of the relationship between the police and transgender community.
No police department has strong policies to protect the community on all or almost all of the criteria, the survey found. Among the key findings: