A woman is suing a jail doctor and nurse in Miami, Florida after they mistakenly identified her as a transgender man and booked her in an all-male jail.
Fior Pichardo de Veloz was held for nearly 10 hours by Miami-Dade County Corrections Department in a holding cell, surrounded by male inmates.
A federal judge initially threw out her lawsuit against Dr. Fredesvindo Rodriguez-Garcia and nurse Fatu Kamara Harris for misidentifying her and delivering ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.
On 21 November, however, Judge Frank Hull reinstated the lawsuit.
He wrote: ‘Every reasonable prison officer and medical personnel would have known that wrongfully misclassifying a biological female as a male inmate and placing that female in the male population of a detention facility was unlawful.’
Pichardo, 55, is an attory and elected official in the Dominican Republic. She was in Miami in 2013 for the birth of her grandchild when she was arrested on 4 November 2013 for an old drug charge she didn’t know was outstanding.
Then what happened?
Both the arresting officer and the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center processed Pichardo as a woman.
During this time, she was sent to the medical unit for a ‘routine checkup’ due to her high blood pressure.
It was then nurse Harris asked if Pichardo was a man because Pichardo was taking hormone pills at the time. The pills, in fact, were for menopause. Harris asked Pichardo what her gender was and she replied woman.
When Dr. Rodriguez-Garcia saw Pichardo, he reportedly asked a series of questions, never performed a physical exam, and reclassified Pichardo as a man.
Harris allegedly wrote on Pichardo’s file: ‘Transgender, male parts, female tendencies.’
Some officers protested but authorities took Pichardo to the all-male jail Metro West Detention Center. While being held there, male inmates allegedly harassed her and she ‘urinated on herself’ instead of using the shared toilet.
Now Pichardo is moving forward with her lawsuit
H/t: Miami Herald