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Alleged Police
Abuse of Transgender Woman Being Investigated

Alleged Police
Abuse of Transgender Woman Being Investigated

The Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday called for a criminal investigation into the case of police brutality against a transgender woman in Memphis.

The Human Rights Campaign on Wednesday called for a criminal investigation into the case of police brutality against a transgender woman in Memphis.

A newly released video shows a police officer brutalizing Duanna Johnson while she was being held in the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center. Johnson is a transgender woman and had been arrested on a charge of prostitution.

"This type of profound violence is the exact thing that police officers are supposed to protect people from," said HRC president Joe Solmonese in a press release. "HRC is calling for a full criminal investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law."

Surveillance video of the incident shows an unidentified officer hitting Johnson several times with handcuffs wrapped around his knuckles, as another officer holds Johnson's shoulders as she tries to protect herself.

After being struck repeatedly, Johnson rose to protect herself and was maced in response.

Johnson claims the officers reportedly called her a "faggot" and "he-she," according to an interview she gave to Memphis's WMC TV.

Video of the attack can be viewed at www.wmctv.com/global/story.asp?s=8515744. The Memphis police department has reportedly fired the officer who held Johnson down while she was being struck, and put the officer who actually threw the punches on nonenforcement status pending an administrative hearing.

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