Wednesday, December 9, 2015

911 Transcripts of West Des Moines Hotel Reporting Transgender Guest to Police

Hopefully you remember the case of the trans woman named Meagan Taylor who filed a complaint last month with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission against the Drury Inn & Suites of West Des Moines, IA, complaining that the hotel's employees violated her civil rights earlier this year on the basis of her race and gender identity. They had called the police on her and a friend after they had checked into the hotel on the way to a friend's funeral. The hotel's management told the police that they suspected that Taylor and her friend were prostitutes because they were "men dressed like women."

Taylor was arrested and held in solitary confinement for eight days while her friends scrounged to come up with bail. The charges that led to her arrest were eventually dropped (see here for more details).

BuzzFeed posted audio of the 911 call yesterday that led to Taylor's arrest. You can hear it here, but here are the transcripts:
911 Dispatcher: Communications, this is Holly.
Hotel manager: Yeah, hi, Holly, this is Kim, the general manager over at Drury Inn & Suites. And I have somebody that is a little unusual that is checking into the hotel, and I didn’t know if there was any way to possibly run their name or information through the database. They’re dressed as a woman, but it’s a man’s driver’s license.
Dispatcher: OK, I can send an officer, but I can’t do it over the phone. What’s your address there?
Hotel manager: It’s 5505 Mills Civic Parkway. I’d want it to be discreet though.
Dispatcher: OK, well, um, I can’t do it on the phone, that’s the only thing. It’s against the law. So I can have someone come over. Where — are they in the lobby there, or?
Hotel manager: They went up to the room and stuff. So I guess if they just kind of discreetly park in the parking lot, instead of, you know, right out front, that would be great.
Dispatcher: Well, I’ll leave that up to them... OK, so that’s a female, with a male’s driver’s license.
Hotel manager: There’s two males, but they’re dressed as females. And they have Illinois driver’s license.
Dispatcher: And are they — what are their driver’s licenses? Male or female?
Hotel manager: Male. And I took pictures with my camera, so.
Dispatcher: OK, so just because they’re dressed as — is it because they’re dressed as females, is that why you’re concerned?
Hotel manager: Um, It’s just, you know, it’s, I guess so. They’re dressed a little bit over the top, too. I just want to make sure they’re not hookers either.
Dispatcher: OK, gotcha. Okay, ma’am, we’ll have them swing over there.
This complaint is still being investigated by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission.

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