October 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
Guidance for LGBT-police interactions
Baltimore, police, forum, gay news, Washington Blade, Anthony Batts

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts addresses community members at a forum. (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

Representatives from the Baltimore City Police Department led by Commissioner Anthony W. Batts brought along brochures to an Oct. 10 meeting with community members that provide guidance to LGBT folks when situations warrant dealing with police. The colorful, tri-fold brochure is titled, “What to Do When Interacting with the Police: A Practical Guide to Assist LGBT Residents.”

The pamphlet features a distinctive design including rainbow-colored silhouettes of police officers and provides information on topics such as, “I’m LGBT and my rights have been violated,” “What Are My Responsibilities?” “How Do I File a Complaint?”  It also enumerates the rights of LGBT persons, offers advice for those stopped for questioning, and what an LGBT person should do if arrested.

On the cover a statement reads, “All citizens regardless of race, religion, ancestry, age, sex, color, national origin, physical and mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and minors have the right to expect courteous and respectful treatment from members of law enforcement agencies.”

The pamphlets have not yet been distributed widely. “The goal is to distribute them to LGBT businesses and establishments,” said police spokesman Lieutenant J. Eric Kowalczyk.

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