— The Task Force (@TheTaskForce) November 18, 2015
Controversy is brewing over the arrest of a trans-rights activist during a protest in Columbia Heights yesterday evening.
Local activist Jes Grobman was arrested after she and other demonstrators blocked the intersection of 14th and Irving streets NW last night to protest violence against trans people.
In the version of the video posted to Facebook, officers can be seen pulling, then dragging Grobman, pushing her against a police car and eventually handcuffing her. Several onlookers can be heard screaming and telling the officers to “let go of her” throughout the video.
According to the police report obtained today by Borderstan, Grobman “made several attempts to place herself in harm’s way by standing in the direct path of moving vehicles.” When an officer “advised [Grobman] … to move out of the path of the moving vehicles,” Grobman “chest bumped” the officer, said police.
But fellow trans-rights protestors tell a different story. In a MetroWeekly article about the arrest, several activists said they saw a police officer push Grobman before she was detained.
Others complained that officers failed to provide names or badge numbers when asked and failed to adequately warn Grobman before they arrested her.
Grobman, who reportedly spent the night in jail, was ultimately charged with assault on a police officer and failure to obey traffic, both misdemeanors.
Police later dropped the charges against Grobman.
The National LGBTQ Task Force, one of the non-profit organizations who helped organize last night’s protests, criticized the officers who arrested Grobman in a statement released today:
Demonstrators will gather at the station (3030 14th Street NW) at 5 p.m. today according to a Facebook event page.
Organized by Mariposas Nueva Generación, the demonstration calls for an end to violence and homicides that target transgender people throughout the country.
“We are sick of being harassed when we walk down the street,” reads an excerpt from the event page. “We are tired of being attacked just for being ourselves. The violence needs to stop. We refuse to live in fear another day.”
The rally coincides with a series of Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Resilience, events across the country.
This is the second of two planned D.C. protests. The first took place in Mount Vernon Square last night.
Image via Facebook/Mariposas Nueva Generación