11Alive and WSB-TV went on air Wednesday night with sensational segments that stated cross-dressing and "transvestite" prostitutes were terrorizing residents living in Midtown. The commander of the Atlanta Police Department's vice unit said Thursday the stories are not true.
The neighborhood in question is Piedmont Avenue and 3rd Street as well as Myrtle Street. Both stations interviewed residents of the area who alleged there were prostitute gangs as well as prostitutes approaching residents and threatening them.
Police: Despite TV reports, no increased violence among Midtown crossdressing prostitutes
“Ten or twelve prostitutes standing in the streets waving at cars, shaking their booty, wearing prostitute clothes,” resident Michael Orloff told 11Alive. “There are times when the prostitutes actually get into arguments amongst themselves over a john.
“And if someone shines a 50-kazillion spotlight in my face, I’m not going to be happy about it either,” Kreher said.
The APD makes sweeps in areas know for prostitution in the summer months, Kreher added, including Midtown.
Kreher said there is no evidence of “prostitute gangs” and that prostitutes do travel typically in pairs for safety reasons.
When asked if these prostitutes were transsexual or transgender women, Kreher said no, that they were men who dressed as women.
“They are mostly men dressed as women, not transsexuals or transgender,” he said, adding that LGBT liaison Officer Brian Sharp often accompanies the vice unit on details and trains the officers on transgender issues.
The word “transvestite” is also considered a slur by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.