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Is The Transgender Community At Greater Risk of Violence in New Orleans?

Posted on May 29, 2017 in Criminal Defense

In recent years, police behavior has come into the spotlight. Targeted police brutality has been discussed across multiple forums. Although the spike in violence may seem recent to outside observers, those who have been targeted will say that this behavior is nothing new. On the contrary, it is the public awareness of it that seems to be the truly recent development. One group in New Orleans that feels they have long had a turbulent relationship with police is the LGBTQ community. Now, two murders of transgender women have many wondering if this distrust of the authorities is placing the transgender community at a greater risk of violence in New Orleans? In early March, 2017, two transgender women were murdered less than 48 hours apart. Although there is no evidence that the crimes were linked, or that gender identity played into their deaths, it led many in the LGBTQ community to speak up regarding the long standing tension between transgender people and the New Orleans police. According to members of the LGBTQ community, New Orleans police have a history of stopping transgender individuals, asking for identification and then releasing them, without any explanation for the stop. Additionally, members of the LGBTQ community have expressed the feeling that New Orleans police assume transgender individuals are part of the sex trade. They have also reported incidents of harassment by police. All of this means that they have been less likely to reach out for protection and assistance in times of need. Many feel that this division puts the transgender community at risk. Due to a lack of comfort in approaching the police for help, it is possible that targeted individuals could easily become victims, resulting in increased violence and unnecessary loss of life. In response to these concerns, the police have vowed to be “listening,” and agreed to attend a town hall meeting with representatives of the LGBTQ community, to discuss these concerns. Youth organizer Jai C. Shavers believes that addressing the feelings of distrust between the two groups is key to improving interactions between the transgender community and the police.

Don’t Face Your Criminal Charges Alone

As a New Orleans criminal defense law firm, we unfortunately see violence enacted against multiple different groups of people on a far too frequent basis. Thus, we are glad to see that the transgender and LGBTQ community is standing up and insisting on changing the relationship they have with the police. Although advocating for change is never easy, it is always worthwhile, especially if it has the potential to make positive changes for the future. However, if you’ve been arrested, injured, or ticketed in New Orleans, you may not have a community ready to come to your defense. In these times, you owe it to yourself to find a lawyer you can trust. Fortunately, we have a strong history of representing clients with a variety of criminal charges, and we’re prepared to do the same for you. So, if you’re ready to take the next step and get your life back on track, do not hesitate to contact us.

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