Kansas City Police Apologize Amid Backlash Following Transphobic Tweets

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 06: An Oakland Police officer walks by patrol cars at the Oakland Police headquarters on December 6, 2012 in Oakland, California. Oakland City officials have come to an agreement to forfeit broad power over the Oakland Police Department to a court-appointed director to avoid federal takeover. The new compliance director would have the power to seek approval from a judge to fire the police chief. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

'Tis the season...for more questionable behavior from law enforcement. Last weekend, during a "tweet-along" hosted by Kansas City police, an officer encountered a transgender sex worker. The exchange that followed, as detailed on Twitter, can only be described as insulting.

The city's police department issued an apology two days after the original series of tweets, but as one tweeter pointed out, harassment of transfolk is pretty routine. In fact, it's a nationwide problem, according to this 2012 study from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Trans discrimination isn't merely relegated to certain local areas; Things like finding employment are consistently difficult for transgender people everywhere in the US.

If we're to take anything from this latest law enforcement misstep, it's two things:

1. Maybe cops should take a break from Twitter. It doesn't really seem to be working for them these days.

2. There is a clear need for better sensitivity training when dealing with members of marginalized communities. Perhaps they'll get on that after they're done demanding apologies from people fed up with their behavior. 

[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/kcpolice/statuses/546728700981432320]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/kcpolice/statuses/546728973355335680]
[Twitter Embed: https://twitter.com/kcpolice/statuses/546729373265428480]

Images: Getty Images; kcpolice/Twitter

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