Woman Sues Police, Claims They Refused To Call Her A ‘Real Man’

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

A transgender man filed a lawsuit against two Houston police officers, claiming they wrongfully arrested her and made fun of her gender identity.

Kris Smith, a 38-year-old transgender man, sued the city and the two arresting officers for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The lawsuit seeks up to $1 million in damages.

Smith, who says she was wrongfully arrested, alleged the arresting officers taunted her about her gender identity. When she asked to be taken to a woman’s jail because she feared going to a man’s, she claims that officers dismissed her request.

“They told me they don’t care if I [don’t] have a penis, they’ll put me in the guys’ side anyway,” she said.

She alleges that they said she’s not a  “real man.”

Smith said officers handcuffed her, but did not not buckle her into the seat. As a result, she claims she suffered from a bruised nose, a swollen bicep and bruised and swollen wrists.

Smith claims she walked to the back of a Burger King to answer a phone call about a job. While there, she saw officers walk up to a homeless man. She turned away, only to have an officer call her over and then handcuff her.

The officer told Smith she was being arrested for trespassing, according to Smith. She says that the Burger King manager called the cops to get her off the property, but never asked Smith to leave in the first place.

Smith maintains that she wasn’t even on the property, but outside a small wall that surrounded the property.

Harris County District Attorney spokesman Jeff McShan said there was a sworn statement from authorities saying that the manager called them because Smith had been panhandling and drinking beer.

The statement also alleges that the manager did ask Smith to leave after she saw her panhandling in the drive through line.

The charges were later dropped against Smith after the manager did not show up in court.

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