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LGBTQ Advocacy Group Responds To Arrest Of Trans Protester

Pride flag
Pete Linforth

After the arrest of a protester who was misgendered by Carbondale Police, local advocates are hoping to help police change how they interact with the LGBTQ community

Rainbow Café Board Chair Tara Bell said the incident came to her attention after witnesses released videos of the arrest. She didn’t like the police actions she saw in the videos or the way the police department released information to the public. Police say the name they released was the only one provided during the arrest.

Bell said Rainbow Café has worked with the Carbondale police before during events like PrideFest and has had good experiences with them. She said a police officer reached out to her after the organization released their statement, and she hopes they will be open to changing procedures when it comes to identifying trans individuals.

“I understand that using a legal name in your police report and your documents might be a necessity for those legalities,” Bell said “I do not necessarily feel that is ethical or proper for that to be made public information, to be released while deadnaming and misgendering an individual to the broader community and the press.”

Bell said she is continuing to speak with the police department about their handling and hopes to take part in training for police officers on interacting with the trans community.