The TGIJP family holds solidarity with Ira X Armstrong and our trans family involved in the incident on Friday June 28, 2019 and on Sunday June 30, 2019. We are outraged to hear that our community members were harassed, physically attacked, and arrested by SFPD during Pride weekend. Though not shocking, it is distressing to hear of this in a time where our community is supposed to be celebrated. Due to the long history of police brutality, specifically against trans women of color, we know that we cannot rely on cops to protect us. We must protect each other. We must show up for Ira and our folks the way they did for our community.
It is a California right to cop watch, and Ira is a trained cop watcher. Cop watching empowers our community and can reduce violence and harm by police that often occurs when no one is there to witness. Ira was arrested on Friday while exercising their right as a California resident to cop-watch.
We continue to uphold that no cops should be at Pride or in our communities. This incident showcases the systemic racism and gender bias performed by the Prison Industrial Complex in this country. The attack on Black trans, gender variant, and intersex bodies by that very system will continue and no one can protect us but ourselves. We must work diligently towards community safety and accountability. Like Ira, it is important to document abuses by police. Furthermore, we can connect folks to resources, healing tools, and legal referrals.
Ira has a scheduled court date on July 22, 2019. We will post updates on future court dates and encourage you to come support.
Know your rights — Guide to Cop Watching
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO THIS!
•to be in a public place and to observe police activity.
•Stop and watch
•Write down officers’ names, badge
numbers, and car numbers. (PC sec. 830.10).
•Write down the time, date, and
place of the incident and all details
as soon as possible.
•Ask if the person is being arrested,
and if so, on what charge.
•Get witnesses’ names and contact
•Try to get the arrestee’s name, but
only if they already gave it to the
•Document any injuries as soon as
possible. Photograph them and
have a medical report describing
details of the injuries.
TIPS FOR TRANS FOLKS DEALING WITH COPS
- An officer is prohibited from stopping someone solely based on gender presentation.
- You have the right to be held in cells consistent with your gender identity unless it is not safe. If this request is not fulfilled, the police have to document the reason why.
- You may request to be searched by an officer of the gender that you identify as. If they don’t honor your request, they must document the reason.
- The police must refer to you by the name, titles of respect (“Ms.”, “Mr.”, etc.), and pronouns that you use.
- The police are prohibited from making “discourteous or disrespectful” comments about your gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
- You do not need to respond to a cop’s questions and you can say, “I would like to remain silent.” Not responding at all may aggravate a situation.
- You do NOT have to disclose your immigration status with the police or immigration officials. If a cop stops you, you can ask if you are being detained:
If the answer is “no,” you are free to go. Cops
have a right to detain you for a short period of
time if they have reasonable suspicion that you
have or are about to commit a crime;
If the answer is “yes,” and you are under
arrest, you have a right to know why.
- You NEVER have to consent to a search of your self or your possessions. If a cop asks to search you or your bag, saying “I do not consent to a search” helps protect your rights. If the cops find condoms on you, you do not have to explain why you have them.
Police may still search your possessions or your person even if you said you do not consent and there is no warrant. If this happens, try your best
- The police cannot strip search you to determine your gender. The police may only do a “body cavity” search if they have a warrant that specifically says so, if you are at an airport or border, or after you have been incarcerated.
The TGIJP office is open 10am to 6pm and if you are arrested between those hours call: 415. 554. 8491
If someone has been arrested and you would like to know which precinct they are being held, call this 24hr line:
Cop Watch Pocket Guide — https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/9faa72_2bbb6a9719c2426eadc40593aeca2984.pdf
APTP Guide — http://justiceteams.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/APTP_view_single.pdf
In-depth San Francisco Know Your Right For Law Enforcement Encounter — https://nlgsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/KYRpamphletSF.pdf
Know Your Rights for the Trans Community — https://nlgsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Trans-KYR-Criminal-2014.pdf