It was like any other day for a transgender man who went shopping at his local grocery store that was until an officer demanded that he show him what he had in his pants, according to a recently filed lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court.
The officer working at the Food Fair in Paterson, NJ, demanded three times to inspect the transgender man’s crotch. But, after the man tried to leave, the officer asked the store manager to conduct an invasive search in the victim’s pants. The victim “began begging for help and felt scared, humiliated, intimidated and abused,” a suit states.
They soon discovered that the shopper was wearing a prosthetic penis. “My understanding is that (the officer) saw something in her pants, which was the prosthetic device, and thought she took something from the store and was hiding it,” McKinney said. “She didn’t steal anything. She didn’t touch a single thing in that store.”
The transgender man walked out of the restroom, where the search was conducted, in tears. The officer, according to the lawsuit, apologized.
Attorney Thomas A. McKinney of Morristown described his client’s gender as born a woman and in the process of transitioning into a man. But said: “Plaintiff identifies as a transgender woman who wears a prosthetic penis.”
A lawsuit filed says the officer and the store clerk violated state anti-discrimination laws. “In addition, the suit accuses the unnamed officer of aiding and abetting discrimination by encouraging the inspection,” according to NJ.com.
Ed note: the article from NJ.com continuously uses varying forms of the plaintiff’s gender.