Tuesday, May 19, 2009
San Antonio Police Respond to GLBT Community Complaint
The San Antonio Police Department has come under fire lately from Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activist after police allegedly used derogatory comments against a lesbian couple during a home raid. The women, Lindsey and Carol, had been at home for the evening when police charged through the door advising, "We have a warrant." Evidently, a warrant had been issued after an anonymous informant who had been assisting the SAPD for over 2 years claimed that a man named "Randy" had been seen with methamphetamine in the home. Unfortunately, after the police entered the house, they allegedly made several lewd and derogatory comments about the couple including many references to their sexual orientation. The outrage from the community was swift and resulted in numerous emails to Police Chief, William McManus, resulting in him contacting the San Antonio Stonewall Democrats to advise them that he wanted to speak to the LGBT community about the situation. Chief McManus arrived at a crowded restaurant to a round of thunderous applause. He stood before the room and began by disarming everyone with a history of his involvement with the LGBT Community, including serving as Grand Marshal of the San Antonio Gay Pride Parade in spite of severe criticism. He then assured the group that, because of this history, he would never turn a "blind eye" to allegations of inappropriate conduct by officers against the gay community adding that, "[if the allegations] happen to be true, there are heavy consequences." He further stated:
The leader in a good organization leads by example, and I believe I've done that. My being here tonight is an example of this.
However, the Chief did admit that, although the academy training provides diversity training to new candidates, the officers are not trained to recognize a "slight" to the LGBT community. Lindsey and Carol's case is now in the hands of Internal Affairs and the matter is being investigated. The investigation will not be made public until it has been completed, for which no time frame was provided. Chief McManus insists that the LGBT community must not assume that something went wrong during the search but should instead, "...let due process run its course." In closing, Chief McManus delivered a heartfelt and tender review of his relationship with the LGBT community; however, he was shaken by the way the LGBT community drew such conclusions against him as he, "thought our relationship was better than that. A little love and trust goes a long way on both sides." So we are left waiting for answers, but now know that the investigation is ongoing and that these officers' alleged actions are not going unquestioned.
This report brought to us by jaysays.com