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Police Ignorance Increases Violence Against Trans People, Study Says

New report finds that police departments have no idea how to handle transgender people.

In “reasons to abolish the American criminal justice system” news, police departments across the country have no idea what to do with trans people, particularly trans people of color, and that ignorance is only compounding the violence against this already vulnerable group.

The National Center for Transgender Equality worked with local and state groups to produce “Failing to Protect and Serve,” a report published Monday that looks at how the 25 largest police departments in the United States interact with trans people and what kinds of policies, if any, they have in place to guide those interactions.

The survey’s findings are disheartening, to say the least. According to “Failing to Protect and Serve,” none of the 25 police departments explicitly require training on interacting with trans people, and none of them require officers to record any name other than a trans person’s legal name — something that would help to mitigate a lot of the misgendering and deadnaming found in media coverage of anti-trans violence. A majority of the departments also lack explicit policies regarding housing trans detainees, bodily search procedures, and hormone access.

“On the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots, transgender people of color remain targets of harassment, abuse, and violence,” says Mara Keisling, the Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, in a statement to Out. “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.”

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