St. Pete Officers to be Trained on Transgender Issues

The training comes after officers identified 25-year-old India Clarke, a murdered Tampa transgender woman, by the name and gender she was born with.

07242015 india clarke

The St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new transgender sensitivity training program.

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman's murder, and law enforcement's handling of it, captured national attention.

After 25-year-old India Clarke's body was found in a Tampa park July 21, law enforcement identified her by the name and gender she was born with even though she had identified as female for years. Backlash from across the country followed, surfacing a discussion about how law enforcement handle the identities of transgender people.

Officers can't rely on anatomy or what is on a person's driver's license to identify them and generally they should use pronouns based on a person's outward appearance, or avoid them if unsure.

As reported by NBC News, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked at least ten murders of transgender women thus far in 2015. Last year, thirteen trans women were reportedly killed. All but one of those victims were trans women of color.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs 2014 report on LGBTQH hate crimes, trans women made up 55 percent of homicide victims in 2014, and of that figure, half were trans women of color.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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