Over the past several months, the San Antonio Texas Police Department has come under scrutiny for abuses to LGBT people. This comes as no surprise considering their history - including incidents involving yours truly, a brutal beating of a couple at a local mall during an arrest due to the women “kissing” in public, and two incidents involving gay men on San Antonio’s Main Street [the "gay" district].
The latest episode involves an “anonymous” tip from a neighbor of a lesbian couple indicating the two women had a meth lab in their home. Although untrue, police were able to secure a warrant and entered the couple’s home by knocking the door down on April 28, 2009.
The couple, Carolyn and Lindsey, were settling in for the evening. Lindsey was already in bed and Carolyn had just come in from taking their dogs out when the police broke threw the front door of the house saying, “We have a warrant.”
Police handcuffed Carolyn before one policeman entered the bedroom and found Lindsey hiding her naked body under the covers. The officer asked Lindsey if she were nude, and upon her positive response, he laughed at her then grabbed a t-shirt from the closet and tossed it over to her. A second male officer entered the room and handed Lindsey a pair of pants. Then a third officer entered and watched smiling as Lindsey struggled to dress without revealing herself to the male officers.
When Lindsey stood up, one of the officers grabbed her, turned her around and asked, “What man lives here?” Lindsey answered that there was no man living in the house; however, the police did not believe her because the house contained “male” items such as a samuri sword, knives and a bow. Lindsey advised that the items did not belong to a man, but rather to Carolyn, and that they are a lesbian couple. All of the officers in the room with Lindsey then laughed at her. One of the officers responded:
See, I knew that about you. I knew that y’all were lesbians. I had someone who was in here last night, they described your house and your girlfriend in there. We’re going to bring in a drug dog and if we find a small stash, we’re going to let that slide. But if we find anything like a lab or anything like that, we’re taking you and your girlfriend in.
According to Lindsey, two other officers were talking about how they liked quirky women because they were freaks in bed. She further expressed the couple’s humiliation caused by the rude comments and laughter of the officers noting that the interrogation went far beyond ordinary police work.
For the rest of the story please visit Jay's blog and be sure to leave a comment of encouragement for him and others. This is not a San Antonio issue, it's happening everywhere and needs to be fought by all of us in the GLBT no matter where we live. You have the links, you know what you can do to help.
The Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio issued an action alert on May 7 asking the community to send their email protests to the Chief. (William.McManus@sanantonio.gov). Some of those protesters have been sharing their emails.
"We will not remember the words of our enemies, but rather the silence of our friends." ~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.