By Michelle Garcia
Originally published on Advocate.com November 13 2012 1:53 PM ET
A transgender woman who was attacked with a taser-gun shot to her crotch last year by federal agents has filed suit accusing the accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of excessive force.
Bureau agents encountered Brooke Fantelli and others in a group on public land in the Imperial County, Calif., desert, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Fantelli, an accomplished off-road race driver, was reportedly doing a photo shoot in the desert when she was stopped by an agent. The agent was friendly with the group until he asked to see identification cards. Once it became apparent that Fantelli is transgender and was in the process of transitioning, the agent became aggressive.
"He was super nice until he saw the ID," Fantelli said in an interview with the Union-Tribune. "He went from calling me 'Miss' and 'Ma'am' when it first started, to 'Sir,' 'Dude' and eventually calling me 'it.'"
After he held the group for an hour and called in Imperial County sheriffs' deputies for backup, Fantelli asked the agent to leave, according to the lawsuit she filed last week. He then arrested Fantelli on suspicion of public intoxication, but Fantelli said she only had had two drinks and was not intoxicated. She was also charged with making a terrorist threat after she said something similar to "this will not be the last time you hear from me."
The video shows Fantelli shortly before being hit with the taser. According to the suit, there was no alcohol in Fantelli's system.
The video of Fantelli's attack is below: