PRESS RELEASE
Patrick Callahan—PIO
Indigo.knight@yahoo.com
TCOPS International, Inc.
1346 The Alameda #7-303
San Jose, CA. 95126   USA

www.TCOPS-International.org
TCOPS_International@yahoo.com

June 23, 2008

RE: THE DUANNA JOHNSON INCIDENT AT THE MEMPHIS POLICE DEPARTMENT (TN)

TCOPS International, Inc. is deeply concerned and disturbed by the events captured on
closed circuit video at the Shelby County Jail in Memphis, TN involving two officers of the
Memphis Police Department as well as other staff members on duty at the time.  The actual
mistreatment or even the perceived mistreatment of a prisoner while in the custody of police
officers sworn to uphold the law and to protect and serve is intolerable.

The severity of the attack on Ms. Duanna Johnson by an experienced and decorated officer,
for no more provocation than her passive refusal to comply with a verbal command while
already in custody, suggests that there may be more severe issues that exist within the
Memphis PD that place not only minority populations in danger, but the greater community
as well.  The men and women of TCOPS are law enforcement officers and law enforcement
support personnel.  Many of us have been engaged in arrest and use of force situations and
have subsequently become the subject of investigations into our conduct during the course
of events that transpired during an incident.  We know that there is always more than one
point of view in any given incident.  There are the perceptions of the officers involved, the
perceptions of witnesses, the perceptions of the community at large and often more.  It is
rare that all these perceptions coalesce into a single, clear point of view.  However, in this
case, with the evidence made available in the video and interviews recently released by the
media, it is difficult to imagine that there could be very many disparate point of views about
this incident.

During her interview Ms. Johnson stated that one of the officers was demeaning her and
using derogatory terms and references (calling her a “faggot” and a “he-she”).  The officer
further refused to refer to Ms. Johnson by name and would not acknowledge Ms. Johnson’s
gender identification as female which was supported by her obvious physical gender
presentation.  It was for these reasons that Ms. Johnson passively refused to comply with
the officers demands by staying seated and, rather than de-escalate the situation by simply
referring to Ms. Johnson by name, the officer instead escalated the level of violence to the
physical attack of an unarmed and otherwise compliant individual already in custody.

As law enforcement personnel we are greatly disturbed by the actions of the officers
involved in the attack and equally by the inaction of other staff members to intervene or
render aid to Ms. Johnson in a timely and compassionate manner.  As transgendered
individuals we are appalled at the obvious bias and hate involved in the actions and
inactions of those involved.   This kind of behavior harkens back to the abuses and terrors
of the Salem Witch Trials, The Spanish Inquisition, Slavery, The Holocaust, Rwanda’s Civil
War, Darfur and the list could easily go on.   As an organization we feel that the Memphis
Police Department, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation should be examining this incident for potential acts of crime committed by the
officers and staff involved as well as for potential federal civil rights violations and hate
crimes.

Additionally, TCOPS is concerned that this incident took place in February of this year but
has only been brought to the public’s attention through recent investigative journalism
efforts now, in June.   Was the Memphis Police Department conducting an investigation
previous to the public airing of this incident or has the investigation been initiated because
of the attention brought to this incident by the media?  This is a serious question that needs
to be answered not only for those involved but for the community of Memphis and for all
LGBT people that live in or visit the city of Memphis.  The potential impact of the conduct of
this investigation can be either extremely negative or it can be equally as positive for the
Memphis PD, the City of Memphis and for the state of Tennessee.  The choice is theirs but
they would be well advised to remember that not only are the members of the LGBT
Community watching, but thanks to the Internet and investigative journalists the rest of the
world is watching as well.


 Copyright © 2008-2017 TCOPS - Transgendered Community of Police & Sheriffs.   All Rights Reserved.
                                PRESS RELEASE

Patrick Callahan—PIO
Indigo.knight@yahoo.com
TCOPS International, Inc.
1346 The Alameda #7-303
San Jose, CA. 95126   USA

www.TCOPS-International.org
TCOPS_International@yahoo.com

May 11, 2009


Washington, D.C. – A Federal Air Marshal filed suit in United States District Court, Marshal
(FAM) Service, and various individuals within the FAM Service for multiple acts of
discrimination, violation of civil rights, harassment, retaliation, and creating a hostile work
environment.

The plaintiff, referred to as Veronica Doe, is a Special Agent with the FAM Service and
transitioned from male-to-female on the job in April of 2004.  Ms. Doe alleges that since her
transition she has experienced a consistent pattern of discrimination and harassment from
not only her immediate supervisors, but senior staff as well.  The incidents referred to in
the complaint include, but are not limited to;

• Directing Ms. Doe to use the bathroom facilities located in a commercial fast-food
establishment more than a block away from her office rather than the existing facilities
located in the federally owned building in which she worked.
• Inappropriately releasing personal and confidential medical information without the
knowledge or permission of Ms. Doe.
• Refusing and subsequently failing to facilitate necessary legal changes to Ms. Doe’s
official government passport, making it impossible for Ms. Doe to carry out assignments
involving travel out of the country.
• Ms. Doe being subjected by her supervisors to a Fitness for Duty Evaluation based solely
on the grounds that she expressed her new gender identity.

Ms. Doe is a law enforcement veteran with 23 years of honorable and exemplary service of
which 20 years have been spent in federal service with the remaining three years in civilian
service.  She has chosen to use a pseudonym in the filing of this action to protect her
family and friends from the potential for death threats and other forms of harassment that
she has personally experienced in the past due to her gender transition.

The Transgender Community of Police & Sheriffs International (TCOPS) is a peer support
and advocacy group for transgendered law enforcement officers and law enforcement
support personnel.  We unanimously support Ms. Doe’s assertion that no one should be
subjected to any form of discrimination or harassment based solely upon their gender-
identity or their gender.

(END)



       Copyright © 2008-2012 TCOPS - Transgendered Community of Police & Sheriffs.   All Rights Reserved.