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Transgender Woman Sues, Claiming Police Harassment

Transgender Woman Sues, Claiming Police Harassment

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A young transgender woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she was harassed and discriminated against by police officers in Cicero, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

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A young transgender woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she was harassed and discriminated against by police officers in Cicero, Ill., a suburb of Chicago.

In the federal suit, filed in late February, Bianca Feliciano, 18, says two officers stopped her and a friend as they walked to a restaurant one day last year, the Chicago Tribune reports. They harassed her and accused her of being a prostitute simply because she is transgender, she says, and continued to verbally abuse her at a police station, where she was arrested for underage possession of tobacco.

"One of the defendant officers threatened to punch Ms. Feliciano, take her to jail and lock her up for fraud because her ID said she is female," the lawsuit states. The police "repeatedly ridiculed and denied Ms. Feliciano's gender identity by stating that she was a man, referring to her with male pronouns and calling her by her former name."

The lawsuit names as defendants the town of Cicero and the two officers, Scott Harris and Jose Calderon. Ray Hanania, a spokesman for the town government, said he could not comment on pending litigation but said the incident is under investigation and that the city opposes discrimination. Both officers are still employed by Cicero's police department and have not been subject to discipline, he added to Windy City Times.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.