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A more equitable trans/gender diverse police policy!

We're excited to bring you an update on the Sacramento Police Department's (SPD) trans/gender diverse policy. The SPD has adopted some of the policies advocated for by the Sacramento LGBT Center and Sac City's Police Review Commission (PRC). We're excited, but, as always, there’s more work to be done.

So what's this all about?

The Sac LGBT Center - site linked here - has a history of trying to engage with the SPD around instituting policies that will help keep our queer community members safe when interacting with law enforcement. There has been a specific focus on creating policies that will protect trans/gender diverse folx, as they are often the targets of violence, both from the community and from law enforcement officers.

Mixed results have been seen so far in terms of the SPD's willingness to comply with community demands. To learn more about what the Center has been working on - click here to be taken to their page addressing this process.

The issue on the table is the Transgender and Gender Expansive police policy developed by the Center and the PRC. Here's a little more context from the Center's website:

In the absence of a community advisory committee supported by the City, the Center established an ad-hoc working group that researched and drafted a new proposed policy regarding Interactions with Transgender and Gender Expansive individuals, which was submitted to Sac PD for consideration and adoption in May of 2020. This policy was mentioned by Sac PD at their February, 2021 virtual town hall, but has not been implemented. In the fall of 2021, the Center began working with the Sacramento Community Police Review Commission to establish an LGBTQ+ sub-committee of the Commission to help advance this policy and advocate for other policy and practice changes within the Sacramento Police Department. This collaboration is ongoing.

So what's the good news?

On 2/17/22, the SPD came out with a new policy for interacting with the trans/gender diverse community based off of the recs of the Center and the PRC. It should be mentioned that they only adopted a little more than half of the policy recs. That’s not the great news.

HERE'S the great news.

The SPD has now repealed their “walking while trans” policy!!! Only one state in our nation (NY), and very few jurisdictions, have done this. Don’t tell the police, but they just did something radical, and WE just did something very cool to make our city a little more safe, particularly for trans women of color.

While we know that this won’t end police harassment, we hope it will cut down on it and help provide a path to remedy.

In case you've never heard of this policy, it essentially criminalizes "loitering" when law enforcement perceives that a person is involved in, or affiliated with, some type of sex work. Basically it's a policy used to harass and arrest folx within the BIPOC community, especially amongst those that identify as transgender.

To read an article from Them (an American online LGBT magazine) about CA state's "walking while trans" policy click here.

Thanks to all the hard work by advocates on this issue, this is a monumental step forward.

The highlighted text below is a piece of the newly adopted SPD policy.

There will be more updates to come once we have developed strategies for the next step forward. We will follow-up with a more comprehensive call to action then. Currently, advocates are trying to get another LGBTQ ad hoc committee within the PRC formed, in order to work on these issues going forward into the year. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to those involved with the People’s Budget Sacramento - site linked here - who also weighed in on this policy. The police didn’t include some of the most important policy recommendations, which means that advocates will be going to go back to the table to see how we can get them incorporated. But please celebrate what has just been put into place. This is a moment to celebrate.

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