At first blush, it seems like a wonderful step forward. In a June 1st memo, Berkeley police were being encouraged by their chief to take a stand for LGBTQ rights. According to the memo from Chief Greenwood, BPD was going to display a Pride flag in the lobby of the Public Safety building, encourage sworn officers to wear Pride lapel pins, and the BPD would be marching in the San Francisco Pride Parade, in uniform, right behind the SFPD contingent.
One can only wonder whether this display of “support” is being done in an effort to pinkwash the department’s reputation before the start of the trial of BPD officers in the in-custody death of Kayla Moore which is scheduled to begin in October. Kayla Moore was an African American, transgender woman who was killed in her own home by BPD officers on February 13th 2013.
The crimes against Kayla were appalling and activists are convinced that the gross disregard for her life and her rights was due, in part, to the transphobia of officers who referred to Kayla using a transphobic slur as she lay dying after being abused by BPD officers. Her pleas for help were ignored as officers turned a plea for assistance from a friend of Kayla’s into a death sentence.
Join the Justice 4 Kayla Moore Coalition this Friday at the SF Trans March, where we’ll be lifting up our pride in trans resistance and true community support and safety – NOT pride in the police departments that criminalize, traumatize and destroy the lives of so many trans people of color. Check out and share our contingent event page on Facebook!