Lakewood, Ohio - A Cleveland area detective will be attending "sensitivity training" after he was reprimanded for blaring the Aerosmith song "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" while a transgender woman was being interrogated.
The suspect was arrested for allegedly shoplifting on December 22nd, and although she didn't experience any harassment during her booking and holding, when it came time for her questioning, suspect Robin Spitfire Adelmann was needlessly humiliated by a detective during her interrogation process.
As she was being questioned, Detective Thomas McLaughlin began to play songs which were immaturely targeted at her, such as the Aerosmith song, as well as "Lola" by the Kinks, which has a similar theme. McLaughlin wasn't actually the detective in charge of interrogating her, but was just in a nearby office and saw her pass through the hallways.
"I look at the detective [questioning me] and I'm like, 'You know why he's doing that, right?' And the detective was like, 'Hey, what can ya do?'" Robin said.
Sadly, after leaving the police station, the poor woman who had just been kicked while she was down on her luck, attempted suicide by consuming a handful of pain killers with a bottle of liquor. Luckily, she was able survive the ordeal.
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"I live in a homeless shelter, but things have been going well for me. I'm really loving the fact that I decided to transition and I wouldn't have had it any other way. But some of this is really difficult. I hear that kind of stuff on the street every single day, no matter what. So when I heard it from a professional police officer who is supposed to protect us, it was just too much," Robin told local reporters.
Soon after, Robin filed a complaint, which resulted in a verbal reprimand, and a required sensitivity class.
"(McLaughlin) was retrained on how to behave in certain situations, and to be aware of who might be in the room,"Lakewood Police Capt. Ed Hassing told reporters.
Police are regularly insensitive to people who they encounter, and especially those who they arrest, even for nonviolent crimes. People who are gay, overweight, have acne, have long hair or exhibit any kind of individuality, are often picked on and ridiculed throughout the booking process. Many police look at this as a part of the "punishment" that they are tasked with inflicting on people.
Just a few months ago we reported on a similar case in Georgia where a transgender man was arrested so the police could determine whether or not the sex on his ID was accurate.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.