A trans woman has filed a lawsuit against San Diego County and its sheriff's office after she says she was placed in a cell with men. One of those men physically assaulted her, fracturing her jaw before deputies stopped him, she alleges in the suit.
In November 2020, Kristina Frost said that she was misgendered by the San Diego jail staff even after telling them she was trans and also despite showing them her driver's license, which states her gender, The Washington Post reports. Officers put Frost into a cell with three men "against her wishes," the suit states, and one man attacked her after she fell asleep.
According to Frost, she woke up to the man punching her while officers watched. They intervened but held Frost for 12 hours before allowing her to go to a hospital.
"She was in excruciating pain from her injuries the entire time she waited," her lawyers said in court documents. They added that she's had to undergo two surgeries, had her jaw wired shut, and now wears dentures.
In a statement to local TV station KXTV Brody McBride, Frost's attorney, said, "Hopefully the sheriff's department takes this incident serious and makes the changes necessary to ensure people in their care are kept safe and treated with dignity."
A report by NBC News found trans people are often detained in cells that do not align with their gender identity, which often puts them in harm's way.
"While many law-enforcement agencies have made significant progress towards better serving the LGBTQ community it is abundantly clear that disparities in service, treatment, and enforcement still exist," San Diego Pride said in a statement, according to KXTV. "Transgender women are women and should and should be treated accordingly. Law enforcement officials and agencies who are not following the law should be held accountable to their actions."