A discussion of how the policing of sexual and gender non conformity is and has always been a tool of race based law enforcement in the U.S.. Speakers will discuss how police repression and resistance to it have always been central themes to gay life in the U.S., and how LGBTQ people of color continue to face police repression by the enforcement of quality of life police practices in Chicago and nationwide.
Speakers included: Joey Mogul, Owen Daniel-McCarter, Keyshia LeMorris
Our group spent considerable time discussing systemic barriers of oppression faced by members of the GLBTQ community. From personal and professional experience, we all shared examples of violence, discrimination, and harassment faced at the hands of the Chicago Police Department. We also discussed the ways that the most marginalized, such as Transwomen of color, often assumed to be sex workers, are mistreated, disrespected, and violated due to their gender non-conformity. Additionally, we talked about some of the political, economic, and social concerns faced by the youth and/or homeless among this population. Despite various laws and policies that have been passed, we found that police continue to mistreat LGBTQ community members either due to their lack of education, lack of tolerance, and/or homophobia.
Therefore, our group suggested the following:
1. Strict accountability for those officers who prey on the LGBTQ community by harassing, disrespecting, profiling, over-charging, violating, and disregarding crimes
2. Ensure a GLBTQ liaison at each police department to ensure the rights of individuals are protected when they are brought into the police station
3. Encouraging informal networks within GLBTQ communities to assist with individual concerns, especially if there is fear in contacting the police
4. Propose training to new officers focusing on professionalism on the job, not just tolerance for diversity (We did not all agree that this would work but I felt it needed to be there)
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