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A transgender woman is suing the Newark,
N.J., Police Department, claiming false arrest and harassment.
Diana Taylor is the third person to file such a suit against the Newark police, which the American Civil Liberties Union said is enough to mandate reforms in the department.
Taylor said that officers approached her while in a police cruiser. They taunted her about her hair and demanded she show them identification. She didn't have ID on her but said her legal name was Christopher Moore. One officer turned to the other and said, "You're right -- I owe you $10. It is a man." They continued to taunt her, using transphobic and homophobic slurs.
She was eventually handcuffed and brought into the station, where the officers attempted to find grounds to justify arresting her, but her record was clean, according to the ACLU, which has taken on her case.
Upon her release, the officers threatened to confront her if she reported the abuse. However, she filed a complaint with internal affairs after weeks of attempts.
But after filing her complaint, she received a notice in the mail, citing her for littering and disorderly conduct. She successfully fought both charges in court.
"The police did more than arrest me that day -- they took away my rights, my dignity and made me afraid to walk down the street," Taylor said in a statement. "I'm fighting for something that's easy to take for granted but impossible to live without -- the freedom to be myself and to live my life in peace. I had always thought the police were here to protect me, and I don't want to feel like I need protection from them instead."