Two Houston Police Officers Accused Of Brutality By Transgender Man!
A Transgender Houston Man Claims Two Houston Police Officers Brutalized Him After His Wrongful Arrest That Was Later Dismissed!
(Article Includes Retraction At Request of Houston Police Officers Union.)
[Updated 04/26/16] (Houston, Texas) 04/01/16 – A Houston transgender man is accusing the Houston Police Department of brutality and humiliation after he was arrested in Montrose for standing on a public sidewalk near Burger King. Charges against the man have now been dropped and a Houston Police Department Internal Affairs Investigation has been concluded. Those records and the incident reports are not being released.
On December 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM Kris Smith was arrested and charged with ‘Trespassing’, for standing on a public sidewalk near Montrose Blvd. and California St. while on his cell phone being interviewed for a job.
Smith says the events that transpired after his arrest while being transported to a city jail were humiliating, scary, and hurtful.
According to the Houston Police Department spokeswoman (Jodi Silva) ‘Smiths arrest was made by two off-duty HPD officers, but their names are being withheld pending information from Internal Affairs.’ (A previous published article released the same of the two officers, that Smith identified, but those names have been removed to protect the identify of those officers until an investigation is complete)*
Houston Police Department policy prohibits off-duty officers from using their patrol units for extra jobs. This of which raises the question if other officers were involved since it would clearly violate department policy to use their patrol car while working an extra job.
According to Smith, things got scary after dropping another prisoner off at a downtown police station. “As soon as they dropped the other guy off, they started in on me.” Smith explains. “My Texas identification card says I am female” he explained. “They got a kick out of me being transgender.”
Refusing to secure Smith in the seat of the patrol car with his arms cuffed behind his back the officers “continuously slammed on the breaks”, slamming Smith’s face into the patrol car partition as Smith recalls.
This style of brutality became famous when the Baltimore Police were accused in the death of Freddie Gray, an inmate that died in custody after an apparent ‘rough ride’ at the hands of the Baltimore police.
Rough ride, a form of police brutality in which a handcuffed prisoner is placed in a police vehicle without a seatbelt, and is thrown violently about by driving the vehicle erratically.. Other terms for the practice include “nickel ride” (a reference to carnival rides) “bringing them up front“, and “screen test” (as the prisoner may hit the protective screen behind the driver). The transport left Smith bruised with swollen wrists.
“I was repeatedly made fun of for being transgender.” Smith says the officers called him names, laughed about him ‘not’ having a penis and stated the ‘male’ inmates would have some fun with [him] Smith.
Hoping the officers had some style of body camera, Smith recalls asking Officer Laureano, who responded by saying, “No, no one cares about you.”
Upon Smiths arrival at the Houston City Jail on Mykaya Rd. in South Houston, Smith states he was immediately taken to the infirmary to be treated by jailers for visible injuries sustained by the ride.
“The jail took my shirt away and placed me in a cell in front of the women’s dorm” Smith recalls to About Magazine in an exclusive interview. “I’ve had my breasts removed, but there are scars visible, it was embarrassing” he said.
After almost 10 hours incarcerated, Smith’s family posted his bail and he was released.
His trespassing charges were dismissed.
- A retraction of information[Officers Name] was made in this article due to an ‘review’ requested by the Houston Police Officers Union relating to the victim wrongfully identifying a police officer’s involvement to this publication. At the request of the Union, that officers name has been redacted.