FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Citizens Police Review Board has decided that a Florida police officer should receive a letter of reprimand for marking “male” on a traffic ticket when the driver identified as a woman. The board also recommended that the entire police department receive transgender sensitivity training.
According to reports, in January, Officer James Brinton pulled over a man who goes by the name Shelby Kendall (pictured) for reckless driving. Kendall had been racing his Camaro against a Mustang on a four-lane when spotted by police.
When Brinton began completing the citation with the aid of his computer, which scanned Kendall’s driver’s license and automatically filled in the identifying information, Brinton noted that the computer had marked the sex as “female.”
Thinking it was a mistake, Brinton then asked Kendall why his license was marked in such a way, and he replied that it is because he identifies as female.
“Well, for the purposes of this citation, you’re a male,” Brinton allegedly stated, and changed the citation accordingly.
Kendall soon called the internal affairs department to complain about Brinton.
“If I’ve done everything I need to do for the state of Florida to recognize me as a female, he doesn’t have a right to purposely mis-gender me,” Kendall told the Sun-Sentinel. “It was inappropriate and kind of bullying and sends a message to the transgender community.”
The matter was brought before the Citizens Police Review Board on Monday, which agreed with the Fort Lauderdale Police Department that Brinton should receive a letter of reprimand. It also concluded that the entire police department should receive training on the issue.
The training, according to the Sun-Sentinel, could entail that the officers watch a sensitivity video created by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under the Obama administration.
As previously reported, the video, “Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community,” was produced by the DOJ’s Community Relations Service and features role playing skits to show officers how they are to respond to certain scenarios involving transgendered persons.
The opening skit portrays an officer pulling over a person who looks like a woman but whose drivers license identification is that of a man.
“Do you prefer if I call you ma’am or sir?” Cpl. Evan Baxter of the Prince George’s County Police Department asks.
“Ma’am, please,” replies the man with the appearance of a woman.
“When in doubt, it’s always best to ask an individual what their preference is. Just simply ask, ‘How would you like to be addressed?’” narrator Sgt. Brett Parson explains in the teaching segment. “Using the correct or preferred pronouns demonstrates respect and lets the individual know that you are knowledgeable about their community, which is both reassuring and shows that you are a true professional.”
The Fort Lauderdale Police still has to agree to participate in the training as recommended by the board, and the city manager must also sign off on sending Brinton a letter of reprimand.
“The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is committed to the equal treatment of all of our neighbors and visitors,” Police Chief Rick Maglione said in a statement. “Furthermore, we endeavor to take appropriate action if there are incidents discovered where it is alleged we veered from that position.”
“I believe the department’s actions concerning the investigation before the Citizens’ Police Review Board clearly illustrates our commitment,” he opined.
Psalm 10:4 reads, “The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God. God is not in all his thoughts.”