A transgender man says he was pulled over for speeding last week by an East Point Police officer and then harassed, called “it” and was threatened by officers who said they would search his genitals to determine his gender, according to a video released by SNaP Coalition. East Point is located southwest of Atlanta.
Juan Evans, a member of SNaP Coalition, an LGBT group working for transgender equality and freedom from police harassment for trans and gender nonconforming people, says he was arrested Thursday, Oct. 23, after being pulled over for speeding. Evans did not have his driver’s license on him and gave his birth name to the officer.
The officer didn’t believe he was male, according to a report of the incident, and arrested him and took him to the East Point police station.
Evans says in the video he was repeatedly called “it” and “thing” by the officers who also threatened to search his genitals.
“I will not let you shame and humiliate me into submission. I heard what you think of me and my community with all the names you called me, the it, the thing, and you repeatedly promised to do a genital search on me,” Evans says.
Evans says in the video when he told the officer that pulled him over that he would not submit to a forced genital search, the officer responded, “I have a right to search your mother’s genitals to find out who you are.”
According to an East Point Police report, when Evans gave the officer his birth name, the “officer was confused at this time because the driver appeared to be male … Officer asked the driver to step out of the vehicle and stand in front of the patrol car. Officer asked the driver still unsure at this time on gender since the driver does not have any type of identification and the vehicle registration comes back to another name.” At that time, Evans was arrested and taken to jail.
In the SNaP Co video (below), Evans says, “I am not an it, I am not a thing, I am trans.”
The police report also states the traffic stop was videotaped in the car video system.
Capt. Richard Pritchard with the East Point Police Department said no formal investigation has been filed so there is no investigation into the alleged incident.
SNaP Co is holding an emergency meeting today at 7 p.m. at the Blue House in East Atlanta to discuss the incident.