Bil Browning

What a respectable thing to do

Filed By Bil Browning | June 14, 2007 12:36 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Equality Florida, Florida, kudos, Largo, make an apology, Nadine Smith, police, scandal, Susan Stanton, violence

Remember Jerame's post from March about Nadine Smith, Equality Florida's executive director? She was arrested during the public testimony on whether the city of Largo, Florida should fire their city manager for coming out as transgender. Susan Stanton lost her job, but Nadine was forcefully arrested and manhandled for distributing fliers that said, "Don't Discriminate."

Equality Florida was happy to announce recently that the city has apologized to Ms. Smith. You can listen to the audio of the apology here. It's not too damned often that anyone stands up anymore and says simply, "We were wrong. We apologize." While I still condemn the city's bigoted decision to fire Ms. Stanton, I have to give them kudos for fessing up to their failings in regards to Nadine's treatment by police.

You can read the Equality Florida press release after the jump.

Equality Florida is pleased that the Largo City Commission has issued a public apology to Nadine Smith, the organization's executive director, for her unprovoked and unnecessarily violent arrest at the February 27th commission hearing to fire their transgender City Manager, Susan Stanton.

Acting City Manager, Mac Craig, read the formal apology during the June 5th commission hearing, referring to the incident as "regrettable," and saying, "We wish it would not have happened." Earlier in the day, Craig contacted Nadine to inform her that the apology would be forthcoming.

"Realizing that the arrest and mistreatment of Nadine Smith should never have happened is an important first step toward implementing policies that ensure that this never happen again," said Brian Winfield, communications director for Equality Florida.

Nadine was arrested for handing a "Don't Discriminate" flyer to someone who asked for it. Her brutal treatment and the false felony charge became the source of an enormous public outcry that drew criticism from thousands of individuals and dozens of civil rights leaders, including a joint statement of condemnation from HRC and NGLTF, the nation's biggest LGBT rights organization. The ACLU had defended Nadine against the felony criminal charge, which the State Attorney later refused to pursue.

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