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Capitol Police Roll Out Transgender Policy; Union Cries Foul

November 17, 2015  | 

Capitol Police rolled out a progressive new policy on Oct. 29 for handling interactions with transgender individuals.

The six-page directive, obtained by CQ Roll Call, instructs officers on security screening, frisks, medical treatment and arrests for a population that the Justice Department defines as particularly vulnerable.

One of the most high-profile cases in police treatment of transgender people centered on the Washington Metropolitan Police Department's mistreatment of Patti Hammond Shaw, a transgender female who filed a landmark suit involving MPD and members of the U.S. Marshals.

"It's one thing to have a good policy in place; it's another how it is communicated and implemented," Monica Hopkins-Maxwell, executive director of ACLU of the Nation's Capital said in an interview. "With Patti Shaw, there was a decent policy in place."

Already, the rank and file are bristling at the new directive. The Capitol Police union said it opposed "giving any special provisions based on gender and/or sexuality," according to an internal email obtained by CQ Roll Call.

But the top brass takes pride in its policy, which mirrors the policy MPD agreed to after agreeing to an undisclosed monetary settlement with Shaw in 2014.

The ACLU said there's nothing "particularly terrible" about the Capitol Police policy, which requires cops to ask transgender individuals if they object to being searched by a male or female officer, among other provisions.

Only one provision could be improved, Hopkins-Maxwell said. It mandates transgender arrestees be placed alone in holding cells, even when more than one transgender person is in custody at the same time. It's a guideline Hopkins-Maxwell said has "no basis, unless they specifically request to be separated."

Comments (5)

Displaying 1 - 5 of 5

kevCopAz @ 11/17/2015 4:57 PM

would be nice to list a few specifics about the policy rather then just talk about it, how in the heck can the reader judge for themselves? I realize the policy is long but a few "highlights" could have been included. Poor reporting / reporting on your part. Does nothing to inform the reader.

Leonard Mather @ 11/17/2015 5:43 PM

This article is one of the BEST I have seen as an example of "Nailing Jelly on the Wall." It is a superb example for Introductory Psychology Classes as an example of Vagueness, "Awfulizing," and "What-iffing." It is devoid of specifics; it is without examples and instead, it hypothesizes the Shakespearean Witches Scene of "Boil and bubble, double trouble." It does NOT surprise me that the brass thought it up. We ALL know what "rolls down hill." And it looks like "When it rains, it pours."

HINK @ 11/18/2015 4:44 AM

So what is the policy and what is controversial? This article says nothing.

S.S. @ 11/18/2015 11:32 AM

Wow! hell of an article, but where is the policy, or is that confidential?

bo2234 @ 11/19/2015 6:05 PM

I'm sorry if I come off a little crass here to some, but do you guys need a lesson on how this site works? The articles they post here are not written by POLICE. They are excerpts from what are usually local articles. If you click on the high-lighted links it takes you to the full article and if you click on the other link either here or in the full article it takes you to a copy of the directive. Try a little initiative before whining guys and gals.

In the immortal words of Sean Connery..."Here endeth the lesson".

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