DCTC Condemns Alleged Anti-Trans Assault by MPD Officer

Like many of you, we were concerned and disheartened to learn of the alleged attack on a trans woman by an off-duty MPD officer on December 1.  This afternoon, we released a statement condemning this violence, and calling for swift justice for the victim, Chloe Moore, as well as a renewed commitment from MPD to make sure that all its officers comply with the law.

If you are ever a victim of violence or mistreatment at the hands of a law enforcement officer or other first responder, we encourage you to contact us at 202.681.DCTC or email us at dctc@dctranscoalition.org.

Our statement is below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 13, 2010

Contact:  Jason Terry

202.615.1690 / dctc@dctranscoalition.org

DCTC Condemns Alleged Anti-Trans Assault by MPD Officer

Washington, DC – The DC Trans Coalition is alarmed by the alleged assault of a transgender woman by an off-duty Metropolitan Police officer on December 1, as reported last week by the Washington Blade.  If the allegations prove true, this case would mark a flagrant violation of the DC Human Rights Act.  Even more disturbing is that to date, criminal charges are still pending against the alleged victim of this assault.

According to the Blade, Chloe Moore and a friend approached a man – off-duty Officer Raphael Radon – to ask for a light for a cigarette.  Upon discovering Moore and her friend were trans, Radon proceeded to utter transphobic epithets and threatened violence, and, according to Moore, also shoved her.  At this juncture, Moore used pepper spray in self-defense.  Radon proceeded to chase Moore two blocks, and beat her on the sidewalk.  Soon after, uniformed MPD officers arrived and determined, based on witness testimony, that Radon had instigated the incident. However, Moore was handcuffed and taken to First District headquarters, where the watch commander ordered that she be charged with assault, against the advice of the officers who had arrived at the scene..  MPD officials have said that the issue is under investigation.

“What’s especially disturbing about this case is that it features several flagrant violations of MPD’s general order on dealing with trans people,” said Alison Gill, a DCTC attorney.  “Medical attention was apparently not provided promptly, and the use of degrading, transphobic language is expressly forbidden,” Gill continued.  Since June, DCTC has been working with several LGBT community organizations to train officers affiliated with MPD’s special liaison units in cultural competency and relevant MPD policies.  So far, roughly 70 officers have been trained in this program.  “What this incident shows us is that training self-selected volunteers is only a small step toward ensuring that MPD officers fully comply with DC’s human rights law.  We want to see a swift rejection of this kind of behavior from the highest levels within MPD, along with a real plan for making sure that every law enforcement officer knows and follows the law, including mandatory training for the entire force,” Gill said.

“We will provide whatever support we can to Chloe Moore as she battles this injustice, and we look forward to working with Mayor-elect Vince Gray and MPD officials to ensure that this kind of violence does not happen again,” said Sadie-Ryanne Vashti, a DCTC advocate.  “We call on our allies to stand up and reject transphobia perpetuated by the criminal justice system. No one should be arrested for being the victim of an assault,” Vashti said.

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