Thursday, June 30, 2011

Police Director Meets with LGBT Equality Advocates

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 1:10 PM

Director Toney Armstrong
  • Director Toney Armstrong

In May, transgender woman Kiare Newsom claimed she was harassed by Memphis Police officers during a traffic stop. She said the officers used homophobic and transphobic slurs, and asked her to raise her shirt along a busy highway. She filed a complaint with the MPD's Internal Affairs office.

In response, members of the Tennessee Equality Project (TEP) and the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center met with new Memphis Police director Toney Armstrong on Tuesday. According TEP chair Jonathan Cole's blog post on the meeting, "Director Armstrong expressed a commitment to fairness and treating people equally and is willing to address concerns about interactions between LGBT members of the community and the MPD. Mayor A C Wharton also visited with the assembled group and offered constructive ideas for addressing presented concerns."

TEP provided diversity training to officers at the MPD training academy in 2008, following the beating of transgender inmate Duanna Johnson. Although she was later murdered in an unrelated incident, Johnson's attacker Bridges McRae is now serving a prison sentence for violating her civil rights.

To read more about TEP's meeting with Armstrong, check out this post on TEP's Grand Divisions.

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