On December 1st Chloe Moore, a transgender woman living in DC, pepper sprayed a man after he reportedly hurled transphobic slurs at her and pushed her. The man then chased Moore, threw her to the ground, pinned her down, and pulled out a badge identifying himself as Officer Raphael Radon of the DC Police Department.
Radon and his friends have their own version of the story, of course, but Moore’s is backed up by an uninvolved witness. The Washington Blade discovered that the two police officers who responded to the scene determined Radon started the altercation and may have committed a bias-related assault. But supervisor Captain Michelle Williams overrode their recommendation and had Moore charged and arrested. Officer Radon has not been charged with anything.
“What’s especially disturbing about this case is that it features several flagrant violations of MPD’s general order on dealing with trans people,” said Alison Gill, a DC Trans Coalition attorney. “Medical attention was apparently not provided promptly, and the use of degrading, transphobic language is expressly forbidden.” DC does have some good civil rights laws on the books, and there are many officers on the force who have been willingly trained by the DC Trans Coalition and its allies in cultural competency. Gill’s statement continues,
“What this incident shows us is that training self-selected volunteers is only a small step toward ensuring that MPD officers fully comply with DC’s human rights law. We want to see a swift rejection of this kind of behavior from the highest levels within MPD, along with a real plan for making sure that every law enforcement officer knows and follows the law, including mandatory training for the entire force.”
Last week Change.org set up a petition to the DC Police Department saying Officer Radon should be suspended pending investigation, Moore should have the charges should be examined and dropped if they’re found to be based on discrimination, and that police officers should undergo mandatory training. I couldn’t agree more. Click here to sign the petition.