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    Parole Officer Shoots Black Trans Woman. Was It Justified?

    Shots Fired

    On 3 November, 2020, a woman named Chanel Hines was shot 3-5 times by her parole officer. She allegedly tried to run him over in her car after stealing a bottle of alcohol. Chanel Hines is also Black, and transgender

    LGBTQ+ Discrimination

    While the parole officer had a right to defend himself, there are questions over whether he needlessly escalated the situation. According to Spectrum News, the officer approached Hines with his gun already drawn. There’s a demonstrated pattern of that in law enforcement: UCLA research reports that “…a 2014 report on a national survey of LGBT people and people living with HIV found that 73% of respondents had face-to-face contact with the police in the past five years. Of those respondents, 21% reported encountering hostile attitudes from officers, 14% reported verbal assault by the police, 3%reported sexual harassment, and 2% reported physical assault at the hands of law enforcement officers.” The report adds, “Police abuse, neglect, and misconduct were consistently reported at higher frequencies by respondents of color and transgender and gender-nonconforming respondents.” 

    After The Shooting

    After her arrest, police repeatedly misgendered her and reportedly did not allow her family access to her hospital bedside. As reported by the Spectrum Times, Hines lost “a part of her lung and is temporarily blind in one eye”. According to her mother, two parole officers also sat in on Hines’ interview with her lawyers. In speaking to the Times, Hines’ mother says that her daughter struggles with mental health and substance abuse. “You didn’t care and you left her there. On the ground in her underwear, trans and Black and invaluable [sic] to you”.

    Community Response

    Several community organizations are advocating for Ms. Hines’ fair treatment by police; one group held several protests outside of the hospital. Another is mobilizing to write letters to Ms. Hines as she recovers. She is now reported as in stable, but critical condition. 

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