Coalition on Prostitution
PO Box 210256
San Francisco, CA 94121
Date: July 12, 1995
Memo: Report re: Police abuse against a prostitute
From: Carol Leigh
To: SF Prostitution Task Force
Below is a statement excerpted from a statement by a prostitute about an incident of police abuse:
The victim first explains that she felt that as she never agreed verbally to money for sex, she should not have been subject to arrest. She did accept money from the officer, whereupon,
"In a few seconds he flashes a brown wallet and tells me I'm under arrest for prostitution.
No, I'm not. I didn't do nothing. Also I did not agree to anything verbally.
Get up against the wall, You're under arrest.
Why should I? For what reason. I did not do nothing wrong.
He grabs me. Since I did not get a clear look at any type of badge, I got scared and I thought I was going to be raped and robbed.
(An incident had happened a month or so prior in which a rapist showed her a phony badge, said that she was under arrest, then tried to rape and rob her).
I tried to get away but he grabbed me by my hair and slammed me against a brick building wall. I started struggling with him for fear I would get hurt. He grabbed me by my hair and forcibly drug me for precisely the length of three meters. He then called for assistance. At this time I cannot say which way his assistance came from.
Within this time my head was stepped on aggressively while my right arm was being twisted. I asked them to stop that I was hurting. They both informed me that I shouldn't have resisted , that if I would have cooperated, none of this would have happened. Therefore we're going to let you know to cooperate the next time an officer says you're under arrest. I told them once again that I did nothing to be treated like this.
When I say you're under arrest, I mean for you to shut up and put your hands behind your back. Let this be a lesson to you ands the other individuals not to resist.
I was then handcuffed and physically beat with their fists in my chest and ribs. I started to cry and asked if they would please stop. But to no avail. One of the two insisted I turn my back towards them. When I did this I was told, 'Bitch, this is for you,' and I was repeatedly kicked within my upper right side chest. One officer said he would call for transportation and the other officer repeatedly telling me in an aggressive tone that he would like to take me north somewhere and he would beat the shit out of me and leave me for dead. He then told the other officer that the next person who resists should be shot, and I told him to shoot me and just get it over with.".
She was up, then forced to the ground again, when the transport came. She asked to go to the hospital and they told her to shut up. They took her on a frightening ride in the car over the steepest hills (apparently this is a frequent tactic) and did not give her a seat belt. The following day she went to the hospital on her own, and was told that her ribs were crush, along with additional injuries, some of which were sustained by the ride.