Tag Archives: connecticut

Police Blotter – March 28, 2014

Police_Measuring_Skirt_LengthPoliceman Chuck Peyton checks to see if the old-fashioned bathing suit worn by actress Myrna Ross complies with 1933 Redondo Beach ordinance banning women’s suits that are more than 3 in. above knee.

This “police blotter” posting contains three law-related stories involving the transgender community – one positive, and two negative.

Let’s start with the positive, and discuss a new program by the Department of Justice to train local police officers across the nation to better protect and serve transgender persons. As National Public Radio reports,

The new initiative is aimed at helping police identify hate crimes and build trust with a community that law enforcement officials say is too often reluctant to report crimes.

“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said at a ceremony unveiling the program. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

Deputy Attorney General James Cole said it was unacceptable that transgender people don’t report crimes against them “based on the community’s fears about law enforcement’s support and perceptions.”

“This is not a result that can or will be tolerated by the Department of Justice, and it runs counter to the very role your community public safety officials want to promote,” Cole said.

Strong words which I hope form a new basis for trust between our people and law enforcement.
Francesca_QuarantaOfficer Francesca Quaranta

Now a negative report – last November I reported on the case of a Connecticut police officer who filed harassment charges against her department after coming out at work. Unfortunately for Officer Francesca Quaranta, an investigation undertaken by the City of Middleton, Connecticut has found “no evidence that a transgender police officer was subject to discrimination or a hostile work environment.” Now, I report this as bad news not because I’m passing judgement on the city – I’m sitting 1,500 miles away and know nothing at all about the case, although I can point to a history where discrimination against our people is the norm, rather than an exception. It’s bad news because Officer Quaranta obviously feels she was the victim of harassment, and this investigation provides no closure for her.

Finally, a story no one wants to see, but which we need to report upon, because the haters out there will report on it, and we need to be informed so we can be ready for those who want to “teach the controversy.” A Columbus, Ohio transgender woman is being charged with one felony count each of sodomy and child molestation, resulting from an alleged incident between the defendant and a 15 year-old boy. The accused, Christopher Antwain Russell, told police that the teen claimed to be 18 years old. Reading the details as reported in the link above, it really appears to be a case of “she said, he said,” with little to no physical evidence.

What’s the truth? I’ll keep an eye open for developments.

The Dominoes Are Falling…Connecticut Directs Insurers to Provide Trans Coverage, including SRS

transgender_caduceus_insert_public_domainConnecticut joins Colorado and a few other states and cities in requiring that SRS must be covered for transsexual patients!

Folks, this is huge news – most of you know I’m a serious student of transgender history, and when I think of the transpeople in the 60’s who were threatened with prison for having SRS, the ones in the 70’s and 80’s who had to travel to backwater clinics in third-world countries, and the rest of us since then who have had to scrimp, save, indebt, beg, borrow, steal, or prostitute ourselves to afford this necessary medical care – it makes me emotional.

Just imagine, a world where all of us can be eligible for SRS under health insurance. A rising tide which will life all out boats, in making more and more transpeople happier, healthier, and more productive in making our new American way of life!

The Connecticut Insurance Department is directing all health insurance companies operating in the state to provide coverage of mental health counseling, hormone therapy, surgery and other treatments related to a patient’s gender transition. – Courant.com.

Connecticut Transgender Police Officer Files Harassment Complaint Against Her Department

Francesca_Quaranta
Another transgender employment tragedy? Mostly, but what is positive is that her department at least the Mayor has come right out with something positive to say.

Mayor Daniel Drew said he and Police Chief William McKenna have not stopped Quaranta from returning to work.

“Officer Quaranta is a good officer with a good record,” Drew said. “She is welcome to come back at any time.”

While it sounds at first like the dispute is over minor things, such as hair length and nail polish, later we learn:

Drew said the city has substantiated one of Quaranta’s claims of discrimination, and has suspended Sgt. Nicholas Baboolal for 10 days because of a comment he made in March. An internal affairs investigation substantiated a report that Baboolal referred to Quaranta as a “cave man.”

Baboolal received notification of his suspension on Friday. Quaranta said Baboolal has apologized to her many times, and although she was extremely upset by the comment at first, she has forgiven him.

“Cave man?” Now that’s a new one.

Transgender Police Officer Files Harassment Complaint Against Middletown Department – Courant.com.