Trans-Bashing Cop Trial in Memphis

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Memphis Cop On Trial for Transgender Beating

A surveillance video from the Shelby County Jail shows the punches that have former Memphis Police Officer Bridges McRae fighting for his freedom. It was February 2008 as Duanna Johnson, a transgendered person, was being booked into jail for prostitution.

 

FAST FACTS:

  • Video shows police officer hitting transgender prostitute during arrest
  • Officer charged with violating suspect's rights, trial started Monday
  • Officer says the suspect swung the first blow and resisted arrest

A surveillance video from the Shelby County Jail shows the punches that have former Memphis Police Officer Bridges McRae fighting for his freedom.

It was February 2008 as Duanna Johnson, a transgendered person, was being booked into jail for prostitution.

Monday McRae went to trial for that beating.

He is not talking, but his attorney says McRae is innocent despite the video.

"The video is going to set us free, you will see," says Frank Trapp, McRae's attorney.

McRae's attorneys say Johnson threw the first swing as the officer tried to handcuff her.

They say Johnson got aggressive, refused to stand up and even threatened to come back and shoot the officer.

Johnson was later murdered in a separate incident.

Johnson had previously told News Channel 3, the officer was insulting, "He said hey he/she, I am talking to you, get over here. I looked at him and said, you can't possibly be talking to me."

Duanna's friends are following the trial and say the death should not stop anything.

"Because of how everything happened, with Duanna being killed, I think it's sad. I think it was more of a hate crime than anything, because of sexuality. That's what I really think about it personally. I think justice should be served in this," says Edward Rudd, Duanna Johnson's friend.

McRae is charged with violating Duanna Johnson's civil rights.

Monday was jury selection in the case.

Attorneys say the trial could last a week.


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