Monday, October 12, 2015

Lesbian profiled & pepper sprayed by cops

A huge thank you firstly to Aphrodite’s P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ for granting permission on this one and for the documentation as well.

As we continue to track, document and share where possible or permitted to do so homo(lesbo)phobic and indeed trans, Biphobic & gender non conforming incidents another one involving the police abuse has come forth; let alone those that do not make it to either LGBT crisis interventions outfits, the police complaints arms or even LGBT networks as some persons absorb their extra-ordinary events and try to move on their own. The latest incident involves the practice as espoused by dancehall acts such as Beenieman of the “Manroyal” or masculine acting or looking female profiling of the victim. Other posts with the ‘Manroyal’ stigmatization: HERE:

On July 27 2015 a young lady who was making her way to her home in West Kingston around 11:35am in the morning, upon approaching an intersection nearing a food shop in the Regent Street area she came into view of a police detachment who as it turned out were in the outskirts of another matter as a crime scene cordoned off with yellow tape. The police at that location though visible their numbers were not so clear as they were some distance away. According to the victim’s report of the incident and corroboration from other persons. The primary motives identified here is that the woman’s aesthetic features and how she presents in terms of dress coupled with the abusive nature in police culture in that part of town and their residents and on the backdrop of the ongoing commission of inquiry and the negative labeling of West Kingston overall as a nest for criminals and their supporters, there is some licence that cops tend to have to abuse citizens.

The woman came into engagement with the cops who demanded she not take the route she was about to take to get home which was far closer and less inconveniencing for her; the cops offered no assistance or accompaniment to pass or circumvent the cordoned area; yet the rude cops with one hiding his identifying vest number which is required by law to be visible at all times when on duty or engaging the public insisted she take the long nonsensical route just to get home. The young lady in her report said in part “Mi neva have no hat down inna mi face or anything like dat. And him seh ‘yuh gwaan like yuh a man… soh mi agoh handle yuh like a man’…” (I never had my hat down in my face or anything like that and he said you are acting like a man so we are going to handle you as a man) for all intents and purposes reinforces the aforementioned abusive cops or squaddy culture towards persons from that side of our geography and hence justification for same abuse often left unattended, under or not reported or unsolved.

She alighted from a taxi at the time to make her way into her avenue when she was beckoned by the two cops, she ignored the call at first as she thought it was not directed at her and other persons were also in the space; she continued “. I stopped and looked while answering ‘mi nuh inna yuh way, it nuh mek nuh sense.’ (noticing something had happed on the other road) he then quickly said that I should walk around on Spanish town road, I then said it makes no sense because it’s just right up the road I live that’s where I live why should I walk around and am not even walking through then scene a mean mi did( 20)feet away from dem on a different road .

Then he swiftly ran towards me and grabbed me by the pants and pulled me over to where the crime scene was a then started harassing and then while he was pepper spraying me me said ‘yuh gwaan like yuh a man so mi ago deal wid yuh like yuh a’ man’. He pepper sprayed me 3 times before letting me go. I stood there trying to get badge numbers but I was only able to get the number for one of them (093), as the other person was hiding his. While I was standing there he said ‘why yuh a’ look pon i?!’ (Why are you looking at me?) and mi seh a yuh numba mi want. One of the two was telling me to calm down and if I don’ calm down him agoh lock mi up. So mi turn to him an’ seh ‘lock mi up fi wah? Mi nuh do nutten’ (Lock me up for what, I have not done anything) he had a book in front of him an’ him tell mi fi sign it but I did not sign it, mi jus’ walk off.”

She left the scene: “I stopped at a small shop and was sitting down and telling them what had happened and dem tell mi fi go up and wash off. A little bit later mi go home and tell my mom. An’ when mi tell har she ask mi why it happened and I explained her him tell mi seh fi walk all di way round on Spanish Town road and mi tell him no, it don’ mek no sense because a jus’ right up di road mi live. So mi nah put myself inna nuh danger.” In other words she explained to her mother after stopping at a corner shop and she washed off the contents of the pepper spray; she told her mother that she was being forced to walk the very log route to get home and because she resisted verbally while none violently as she did not want to put her life in danger, she was pepper sprayed.

A police report had not been made at the time of the preparation of this blog entry as she has declared intent to do so. Also a special thanks to the lesbian for allowing usage of the material with a view to highlighting the corresponding issues same gender loving women face as us as gay, bisexual and ever increasing transgender directed atrocities by both agents of the state and publics.

Injury /remedy taken status:

Burning of the eyes and skin,

Temporary blurred vision and some respiratory discomfort evidence which was relieved at the time of washing her face and hands.

Thankfully this one did not go any further than this and she has since settled is moving on though cautious of cops in and around her community.

Peace and tolerance



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