‘You Have to Show Up’: Community Allies Press Dallas Police Officials on Crimes Against Transgender Women

Kaden Brown didn't want to go to the Resource Center alone Thursday. As a black, transgender woman, she always fears attending public events. Now, after Muhlaysia Booker's death, she’s even more worried.“But you have to show up. If we aren’t here, we are going to continue to attend vigils,” said Brown, who brought her boyfriend along to make her feel safer. “It’s like a war out here.”Brown, 25, was among more than 150 people who attended a Dallas police LGBTQ community outreach event Thursday at the Resource Center, which offers social and health services to transgender people.The town hall meeting began with a moment of silence for Booker, a 22-year-old transgender woman who was found fatally shot Saturday on a street in Far East Dallas.Before Booker’s death, the meeting had been expected to be similar to one conducted a year ago, but horror over her slaying brought new urgency to longstanding concerns for transgender people.Police Chief U. Renee Hall, her top commanders and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot were on hand to try to address those concerns.The chief said her department “stands in support” of the LGBTQ community and has placed a priority on training its personnel on overcoming implicit bias, adding that unconsciously characterizing members of a group can lead to unfair treatment.Brown said she generally trusts the police but has felt unfairly profiled before.“I feel like in the black community, we are not taken seriously, but we are often a target in our communities for robberies, murder, sex,” she said.Others at the meeting also expressed concerns about unequal police protection and urged the department to improve LGBTQ outreach efforts in communities of color and in southern Dallas. Thursday's town hall was one of three the department has planned, including one in southern Dallas.  Continue reading...

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