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LAPD's new rules on transgender stops, searches

LAPD patrol cars are seen in this undated file photo.

April 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles police have a new policy on how officers will interact with members of the transgender community during stops and searches.

Officers are being directed to respect the person's expressed gender, according to a memo issued to all department personnel. Officers are also being barred from frisking individuals or questioning them for the sole purpose of learning their gender.

The department will house arrested transgender men and women in a women's jail, according to the Los Angeles Times. The goal is to prevent discrimination.

When in doubt, the memo tells officers to rely on what a transgender person may be wearing or their language and demeanor, and respectfully call the person "sir" or "ma'am" accordingly as they would in any stop.

The San Francisco-based Transgender Law Center applauded the Los Angeles Police Department's new policies, saying it has received many complaints from transgender people about police harassment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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