Target: Jannquell Peters, Mayor of East Point, Georgia
Goal: Encourage stricter consequences for police officers accused of trans-phobic behavior
A trans man in East Point, Georgia was publicly harassed by police officers after being pulled over for speeding. Juan Evans, 23, was allegedly called ‘it’ and ‘a thing,’ after police officers refused to believe his trans status.
Evans, having left his wallet at his office, identified himself by providing his birth name, birth date, social security number and address. When officers accused him of lying, Evans revealed that he was transgender. In response, the police officers demanded to search his genitals on the side of the road to determine his gender. When Evans refused, an officer laughed and replied that he would ‘search…[his] mother’s genitals to find out who…[he] was.’ Juan was later handcuffed and taken to a police station where he faced further ridicule and embarrassment.
According to a local news report, Evans was threatened multiple times with forced genital searches, yelled at, outed in front of cellmates and called various trans-phobic slurs by the officers who pulled him over, and authorities at the East Point station.
While Georgia permits post-op transgender people to amend their sex on their birth certificates, there are no laws in place to protect LGBT Georgians from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender expression, and no law preventing hate crimes against members of the LGBT community.
Following his release, Evans partnered with SNap Co, a group that works towards the eradication of police harassment against trans and gender-nonconforming people, to conduct a protest that gained considerable media coverage and even prompted an apology from East Point’s Mayor Jannquell Peters. But, no action has been taken to discipline the officers accused of the trans-phobic behavior.
Sign the petition to urge Mayor Jannquell Peters of East Point, Georgia to enforce stricter consequences for the police officers involved in tormenting an innocent trans man.
Dear Mayor Jannquell Peters,
It has recently come to my attention that a young man by the name of Juan Evans was mercilessly harassed by the police officers of your city, East Point. While an apology has been issued on your behalf, the officers involved have yet to receive any reprimand for their deplorable actions. No trans person living in Georgia should live in fear, surrender their dignity or be shamed for their transgender status.
The ridicule and pure hatred that Juan Evans experienced after being pulled over, and at the police station thereafter, is simply unacceptable. To subject another human to such verbal abuse is criminal, and to do it willingly is callous. The East Point police force needs to understand that threatening to conduct unlawful genital searches and spewing trans-phobic epithets is not okay.
I urge you to enforce stricter consequences for the police officers involved in the dehumanization of Juan Evans, and to encourage them to administer sincere apologies for their actions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Skarz via Wikimedia Commons