Police and the Criminalization of LGBT People

By Naomi G. Goldberg, Christy Mallory, Amira Hasenbush, Lara Stemple, and Ilan H. Meyer

Harmful policing strategies and tactics push many LGBT people, particularly young, low-income and LGBT people of color, into the criminal justice system, write Williams Institute scholars along with public policy and legal experts in a newly released book, The Cambridge Handbook of Policing in the United States. Negative interactions with law enforcement weaken LGBT people’s trust in law enforcement, and as a result, LGBT victims of violence are less likely to report incidents to police and have their complaints fully addressed.

In the chapter, “Police and the Criminalization of LGBT People,” authors examine the persistent tension between the need for police protection against LGBT-focused hate crimes and the over-policing of LGBT communities. It investigates discriminatory targeting, harassment, and violence by the police and provides potential remedies, such as community engagement, LGBT-inclusive training for law enforcement, and the revision of local and federal policies and practices.

The chapter was authored by Naomi G. Goldberg of the Movement Advancement Project and Lara Stemple of UCLA School of Law, along with Williams Institute scholars Christy Mallory, Amira Hasenbush, and Ilan H. Meyer.

To request a copy of the book chapter, please email williamsinstitute@law.ucla.edu.

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