Crime & Justice

LAPD has new policy on transgender stops, searches

Eric E Johnson/Flickr/Creative Commons

The LAPD is planning to install a new stop and search policy for officers who encounter transgendered individuals.

In a memo to officers, Chief Charlie Beck says the department's aim with the new procedure is to create mutual understanding and prevent discrimination during police activities.

The memo tells officers to rely on what a transgendered person may be wearing or their language demeanor when in doubt, and respectfully call the person "Sir" or "Ma'am" accordingly as they would in any stop.

The memo also bars officers from frisking individuals or interrogating them for the sole purpose of learning their anatomical gender.

The San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center applauded the LAPD's new policies, saying it has received many complaints from transgendered people saying they've experienced police harassment.