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Transgender 'Occupy Wall Street' Protester Segregated, Humiliated by NYPD During Arrest, Detention |Gay News|Gay Blog Towleroad
Justin Adkins, a transgender activist and Assistant Director of the Multicultural Center at Williams College, was arrested as part of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest on October 1 at the Brooklyn Bridge.
In a statement released to the public (read it below), Adkins details his mistreatment by the NYPD because of the fact that he is a transgender man. Adkins said he identified himself as transgender from the moment he was arrested. That, however, did not prevent a humiliating sequence of events from occurring which included a disrespectful genital pat down, being segregated from others arrested at the protest and being placed in a cell with violent criminals, being chained to the wall of the only working restroom in the jail for 8 hours. Being denied three requests for food while others at the protest were fed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and water.
At one point the woman (another protester) I had spoken with earlier was brought into use the toilet. When she entered the room she looked shocked and asked why I was attached to the railing. I told her again that it was the “transgender special”. She clearly understood that I was being discriminated against because of my transgender status. She asked the female officer in the room why I couldn’t be given my own cell and the officer said “you don’t know why he is locked up here” the woman said that she did know and that I should at least be given my own cell if they were not going to house me with the male protestors I was originally arrested with.
Throughout the night it became clear that they wanted my fellow protestors to think that I did something criminally wrong. That I had done something different from them. That I was not just a peaceful protestor exercising my rights on that bridge. That I deserved to be handcuffed to a railing in the side of the precinct with violent criminals. Everyone seemed to wonder why I had been separated. When other officers chatted amongst themselves about why I was separated, one officer suspected aloud that I was a “ringleader”. The woman officer stood a few times outside the glass wall with the door open as male officers asked about me. It appeared that she told them that I was transgender as they gawked, giggled and stared at me.
You can read Adkins’ full statement regarding his mistreatment here.