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Activists complain to media about detention

Rachel Scoma

A transgender activist was detained by San Diego Police (SDPD) Saturday, July 7 at a downtown protest against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed free trade compact many have likened to NAFTA. according to activists.

Several other protestors were detained at the march and later let go, according to a press release issued by Canvass for a Cause (CFAC). The protest was reportedly peaceful and consisted of about 250 people. The only protester detained was a transgender Canvass for a Cause organizer.

“Transgender people have been the target of police violence, brutality and arrest throughout the Occupy movement,” said Rachel Scoma, attorney and executive director of Canvass for a Cause. “Here in San Diego, we have seen countless transgender people get arrested, pepper sprayed and literally injured by police officers. In New York, a trans person was arrested and handcuffed to a toilet for over eight hours because the NYPD did not have any sort of strategy for what to do with non-gender conforming people who they arrest.”

While other protesters were let go, the transgender activist spent the day in the downtown SDPD headquarters, according to CFAC.

“We have live footage of the arrest,” said Scoma. “The police wrongfully accused a friend of the arrestee of alleged vandalism, but a witness positively affirmed to the police that neither the arrestee nor his friend were the person they were looking for. The friend of our transgender activist was let go.”

Scoma, members of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and Canvass for a Cause organizers and directors went downtown to ask the SDPD to release the activist.

“Prison is scary for anyone,” said Jersey Deutsch, Canvass for a Cause director of programs. “But for people identified as transgender, it is a complete nightmare. We don’t know where the officer will put us and how they will identify us. If an officer makes a careless decision about transgender arrestees, it is more common than not that trans-people experience violence, isolation and discrimination from both the inmates themselves and discriminatory officers.”

The activist was later released. After the release, Canvass for a Cause Tweeted (quoting Scoma), “Action against the mistreatment of our #transgender #activist will follow.”



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Posted by LGBT Weekly on Jul 12, 2012. Filed under Around the City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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