By Neal Broverman
February 02, 2012
A transgender woman tells Gawker that, after being arrested for a minor violation this month, New York City police officers berated her and left her cuffed to a wall for 28 hours.
Temmie Breslauer is suing the NYPD for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and violation of her civil rights. After being arrested for using a subway card that wasn’t hers, she says she was hauled into a station, called names like “He-She” and “Lady Gaga” and attached to a fence that kept her arm raised in an uncomfortable position for over a day. The NYPD didn’t respond to Gawker’s request for comment.
In NYPD Custody, Trans People Get Chained to Fences and Poles
By Anna North
Feb. 2, 2012
A trans woman says that when she was arrested for a minor subway violation, NYPD officers belittled her, called her names, asked about her genitals — and kept her chained to a fence for 28 hours. Now she’s suing. And it turns out she’s far from alone.
In her lawsuit, Temmie Breslauer says she was arrested on January 12 in a subway station for illegally using her dad’s discount fare card (only seniors and people with disabilities can get these). She says the arresting officers — the suit names one, Officer Shah — laughed at her. When they took her to the station, a desk sergeant asked her “whether she had a penis or a vagina.” Breslauer explained that she was in transition. Then, instead of putting her with female inmates or in her own room, the department allegedly chose this course of action:
[S]he was fingerprinted, seated on a bench, then painfully chained to a fence wherein, for no apparent reason, her arm was lifted over her head and attached to the fence to make it appear that she was raising her hand in the classroom. She sat there in that position for 28 hours.
She also says officers not only refused to call her “she,” they instead referred to her as “He-She”, “Faggot,” and “Lady GaGa,” and asked her “So you like to suck dick? Or what?” Meanwhile, people arrested for the same minor crime (misdemeanor “theft of services”) she was were calmly processed and allowed to leave. Finally, she was able to go before a judge, who gave her two days of community service. She says the whole ordeal aggravated her existing PTSD and left her sleepless and suicidal.