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Milwaukee PD Announces They Will No Longer Share Victim's Genders to Avoid 'Misgendering' After Pressure From LGBTQ Activists

The Milwaukee Police Department has announced they will no longer share victim’s genders to avoid “misgendering” people.

The policy change was made in response to pressure from LGBTQ activists after the department allegedly “misgendered” transgender crime victims.

The department also announced that they will no longer provide the race of victims.

Milwaukee Police Department LGBTQ liaison, Sgt. Guadalupe Velasquez, began advocating for the policy change regarding sex and gender in May.

“We don’t want to make a traumatic experience for a family worse,” she said during a press briefing, according to a report from TMJ4.

“Do you think misgendering transgender victims in the past has hurt the LGBTQ community?” TMJ4 reporter Ben Jordan asked.

“Based on the conversations I had, yes,” Sgt. Velasquez replied. “It was something that was a topic that led to some uncomfortable conversations for me where some of the organizations were like, we’re not willing to work with the police department because clearly, you don’t have respect for us.”

Sgt. Guadalupe explained that she consulted with “leaders” in the LGBTQ community to figure out how to correct the issue, ultimately deciding that genders should not be shared at all.

“I think the biggest thing is the department wants to make sure we’re always being respectful,” she said.

Jordan replied, “I spoke with a leader in the transgender community and they told me they would rather have the Milwaukee Police Department get genders correct rather than not share them at all. What is your response to that?”

“I mean, for me, I think it’s because the information is not always readily available and we don’t always have somebody on scene to make sure that we’re getting it right,” Sgt. Velasquez replied. “I think this is a way to make sure that the department doesn’t get it wrong.”

Kathleen Bartzen Culver, UW-Madison’s journalism school director, told the paper that the policy could be detrimental to the community learning about crime trends.

“Are women more at risk to be crime victims? Are men more at risk? Are transgender folks more at risk? So those longer-term stories, that’s where we definitely need to be able to dive into the data and look for trends, look for things that ought to concern us as citizens,” Culver said.

The department will still share the gender of suspects in crimes because it is crucial information when asking for help identifying someone from the public.

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