Fort Lauderdale police officers will have to take sensitivity training on transgender people after an officer misgendered a Florida man who identifies himself as a woman. (Image source: Sun-Sentinel video screenshot)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police officers will be forced to take transgender sensitivity training after one of their officers misidentified a transgender woman (biological male) when giving him a traffic ticket.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Officer James Brinton pulled over Fort Lauderdale real estate agent Shelby Kendall in January for drag racing in a Camaro. Kendall’s license listed him as a female, but Brinton issued a citation for reckless driving, identifying Kendall as male. Brinton said that he thought there may had been an error on the license.
According to Kendall’s complaint, Brinton asked Kendall why his license read “female.” Kendall responded that he identified as a female, prompting Brinton to say “Well, for the purposes of this citation, you’re a male.”
Kendell, 48, filed a complaint with the city for Brinton misgendering him, subjecting Brinton to a hearing before the city’s Citizens Police Review Board.
“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 misgender me,” Kendall said. “It was inappropriate and kind of bullying and sends a message to the transgender community.”
The Citizens Police Review Board recommended that the entire Fort Lauderdale Police Department take extra training on how to properly treat transgender people, in addition to Brinton receiving a written reprimand for Kendall’s treatment.
“I think it’s fair,” board member Marc Dickerson told the Sun-Sentinel. “It’s a matter of training and the officers need training.”
According to the Sun-Sentinel, this training entails watching a 13-minute video from the U.S. Department of Justice on how to deal with transgender individuals, and signing a document stating that they watched the video.
Before this training can begin, however, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department has to agree to undergo the sensitivity training. Furthermore, the city manager still has to sign off on issuing the reprimand to Brinton for the incident.
Meanwhile, Kendall said she harbors no ill feelings toward Brinton, and that she “couldn’t have asked for more” from the city.
“I just think the city is showing they’re willing to help others and make everyone feel welcome,” Kendall said.