A Newark resident who was born male but lives as a female has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming she was harassed and verbally abused by police because of her sexual identity.
Taylor claims two Newark police officers stopped her on March 23, 2009, and took her into custody for no reason while verbally abusing her. The lawsuit said the officers shoved her against a fence, cuffed her roughly and detained her unfairly.
In a news conference today, Diana said one cop told her he didn't want to touch her "because I might have AIDS."
She said when she was initially stopped and asked to hand over her identification, one of the officer's yelled to the other "it's a man. You were right. I owe you $10!"
He said the officers began calling her a string of discriminatory names including "chick with a d----," and "f-----."
"It just went on and on, seemingly forever," she explained. Taylor said she threatened to call a lawyer and was eventually taken into the precinct where other officers continued a similar verbal assault.
Taylor alleges she was taken from the precinct in handcuffs and officers threatened her with "gang violence" if she pursued a complaint against the department.
She accused the lieutenant of not listening to her complaints, allegedly telling her "they [the officers] were just busting your chops."
An ACLU lawyer said Diana Taylor was detained and treated "abusively" by the Newark police as "retaliation for asserting her legal rights when they stopped her."
"She had the backbone to stand up to them," the attorney said.
The suit contends Taylor was charged with littering and disorderly conduct but those charges only came about after she had filed a complaint against the department.
Those charges were later dismissed.
The Newark police have not yet commented on the lawsuit.