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Police in Minnesota are considering adopting a new policy for transgender people

Police in Minnesota are considering adopting a new policy for transgender people

Minnesota police at Twin Cities Pride

Police in St. Paul, Minnesota are drafting a new policy in regards to transgender and gender nonconforming people.

They released a draft of the policy on Tuesday (17 July). The department hopes it will be finalized and adopted later this year.

Some of the included guidelines are: using people’s preferred pronouns, people can request an officer of a specific gender, the department will provide gender-neutral restrooms, and more.

Police offers are still required to use a person’s name and gender on their government-issued IDs for reports, but elsewhere they must respect preferences.

‘We’re seeing these around the country,’ said Dru Levasseur, senior attorney and director of the Transgender Rights Project for Lambda Legal, about the policy.

Police departments in other cities are writing up and adopting similar practices.

‘It’s good for transgender and gender nonconforming people to see that they have protections in their interactions with police.’

The city also created a feedback form where residents can comment on and make suggestions for the policy.

An attempt to ease tensions

‘People of color and trans folks do not feel safe around police,’ said Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride. ‘We really need to work on those relations.’

In recent years, there have been numerous examples of police and LGBTI communities not seeing eye-to-eye, especially at Pride events.

Police stormed and canceled Pride events in both Istanbul and Beirut earlier this year.

Toronto asked police not to participate in their parade this year, following tensions between the community and police after the arrest of an alleged serial killer.

In Minneapolis this year, police are allowed to participate, but they cannot wear their uniforms.

Based on all these instances, Belstler concluded: ‘I think that by having St. Paul issue this policy, it’s a step in the right direction.’

H/t: Star Tribune

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