FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale police officer is facing disciplinary action. He is accused of failing to categorize a transgender person as desired on a reckless driving ticket. The citation was issued in late January.
The transgender person who goes by Shelby Kendall was pulled over for drag racing. Kendall was born male, but began to identify as female in 2014. Kendall filed a complaint with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
The ordeal took place when Officer James Brinton noticed a Chevrolet Camaro drag racing a Ford Mustang down a four-lane public road. He followed the black Camaro into a Winn-Dixie parking lot, where Kendall was ticketed.
“I wasn’t really contesting why I was pulled over,” Kendall said. “I was more contesting how I was treated.”
Officer Facing Disciplinary Action
Brinton went before the Citizens Police Review Board on Monday after referring to Kendall as a male on the reckless driving ticket. Of issue was the fact that the real estate agent’s driver’s license features female pronouns.
“If I’ve done everything I need to do for the state of Florida to recognize me as a female, he doesn’t have a right to purposely mis-gender me,” Kendall said of the police officer. “It was inappropriate and kind of bullying and sends a message to the transgender community.”
But according to Brinton, he wasn’t trying to bully the 48-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident. Instead, the officer said he believed the driver’s license information showing Kendall as female was a mistake, so he listed Kendall as male.
Kendall objected to the identification, but Brinton stood his ground.
“Well, for the purposes of this citation, you’re a male,” Brinton told Kendall, according to a police report.
Police investigators have suggested Brinton receive a written reprimand, but it is up to the city manager to make the final decision on how the officer will be disciplined.
Police and Transgender Issues
LGBT activist Michael Rajner believes law enforcement officers should have to undergo more training on transgender issues as a result of the incident involving Brinton.
“What concerns me is that the officer felt it was not necessary for him to correct the [citation],” he said. “He robbed that individual of her dignity.”
In a statement about the incident, Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione said the department “is committed to the equal treatment of all of our neighbors and visitors.”
“We endeavor to take appropriate action if there are incidents discovered where it is alleged we veered from that position,” he said. “I believe the department’s actions concerning the investigation before the Citizens’ Police Review Board clearly illustrates our commitment.”
Identity politics have created a slippery slope for law enforcement. Police officers are required to categorize people on citations and in police reports. Those categorizations are often readily apparent, yet the politics of “identification” or “feeling” have taken priority in our culture over “biology” and “reality.”
In this case, gender politics have prevailed. If you disagree, then simply look at the definition of transgender; denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.
Soon we will see a person who is obviously one race, yet identify with another. When that happens, and there is evidence it has begun, human categorizations will be thrown into further tumult. A person can change the landscape all they want, but they cannot alter their DNA. As a result, law enforcement will need to professionally cope with these changes in our culture.
(Photo: Screenshot Sun Sentinel news broadcast)
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