Statement from DSA-LA on Wi Spa Anti-Trans Violence from LAPD

Drafted by DSA-LA LGBTQ+ Caucus

On Saturday, July 17 the Los Angeles Police Department once again terrorized transgender people and fellow activists who were defending their human rights against a sinister coalition of fascists, religious bigots, white supremacists, and conspiracy cultists. After spending the month of June professing their allyship of the LGBTQ+ Community, the LAPD resumed its status quo of assaulting transgender people for simply existing. An officer shot a projectile at a demonstrator at point-blank range in yet another instance of LAPD’s disregard of a recent Federal court injunction that prohibits the use of  such “riot control” weapons on demonstrators; this was just one of many acts of police violence that day.

One year after city officials painted “All Black Lives Matter” in the colors of the Trans Pride Flag across Hollywood Blvd, an officer tore that same flag apart on Wilshire Blvd. DSA-LA condemns this coordinated campaign of brutality and all state-sanctioned violence which LAPD and LASD have only escalated in the past year since the historic uprisings against the murder of Black people by the police. Police forces in our city and county are waging this campaign of violence and intimidation against anyone, including independent journalists, who speaks out publicly against injustices and intensifying repression by police.

Local media coverage of the events surrounding Wi Spa have uncritically repeated right wing fascists talking points, failing to meet basic journalistic standards. Local news outlets have neglected to present facts that reveal coordinated violence against the trans community engineered to garner publicity for a campaign to repeal gender protection laws in the State of California. The LA Times cannot act as stenographer for the LAPD and right wing extremists, normalizing vicious attacks on transgender people as part of a larger campaign of intimidation. Giving uncritical airtime to harmful spectacle is not journalism; it is exploitation. 

2021 has seen over 100 bills to restrict trans rights introduced to state legislatures across the country. Physical and sexual assaults, and homicides of trans and gender non-conforming people continue to rise at an exponential rate. 

Transgender and gender non-conforming people deserve equal rights, respect, healthcare, housing, worker protections, and safety in their everyday lives. We demand that the LAPD cease assaulting demonstrators with impunity. LAPD Chief Michel Moore should resign immediately, or be fired by our feckless city council, for this attack on our community and his long history of past abuses against Angelinos.