Many LGBTQ people – especially those who look like they are bucking dominant gender norms – are frequently the targets of discrimination and violence, including at the hands of police. TruthOut reports that “Transgender and gender nonconforming individuals already experience devastatingly high rates of poverty, homelessness, discrimination and violence, and advocates say that police often make matters worse.
“In 2012, transgender people in the United States were three times more likely to experience physical violence at the hands of police than non-transgender people, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP). Transgender people of color experienced police violence at more than twice the rate of white transgender people, and transgender woman were more likely to suffer violence at the hands of police than anyone else.
“Transgender, gender nonconforming and LGBTQ people are also less likely to report violent and other crimes, due to fear of police. In 2012, 48 percent of survivors of anti-LGBTQ violence who went to the police reported police misconduct, and nearly 27 percent said police attitudes were hostile, the NCAVP reports.Make the Road New York surveyed residents in the Jackson Heights neighborhood, where Natasha was arrested, and found that 54 percent of all LGBTQ respondents and 59 percent of transgender respondents reported being stopped by police compared to 28 percent of straight, cisgender residents. Transgender residents routinely described being profiled as sex workers and arrested by police while doing routine daily tasks.