Posted by: Catherine Lugg | August 9, 2011

Queer women of color ill-treated by DC police

According to The Root, there have been a series of attacks in the DC Metro that have targeted queer women of color. The police response has been less than responsive.

On July 30, at 3:00 a.m., five young, African-American lesbians were attacked outside the Columbia Heights Metro station in Washington, D.C. According to a police report filed by the victims, two men threatened them after one of the women declined their romantic advances by explaining that she was with her girlfriend.

That girlfriend, Yazzmen Morse, one of the victims, approached the men after they began hurling sexist and homophobic epithets at the group. The report goes on to allege that in response, the men proceeded to attack and beat Morse and her friends, prompting a bystander to call the police.

According to Morse and another victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous, the police arrived and apprehended only one of the two suspects, letting the other one flee the scene while continuing to shout sexist and homophobic slurs at the women. The police allegedly restrained the other attacker for a short time before releasing him, too.

The police report goes on to allege that the officers on the scene refused to take a statement from the women, telling them that they were “too agitated” and informing them that the police wouldn’t talk to them because they “didn’t know how to act.” The victims were unable to file their report until days later, when they turned to the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, a unit within the police department created specifically to help increase reporting for anti-LGBT violence.

Please go read the entire article. I wish I could say, “It’s beyond belief,” but I find the women’s stories far too congruent with police attitudes in other locales and even in other eras (*cough,* Penn State, *cough*).


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