LGBT Community and Law Enforcement Interaction Survey

Have you had positive or negative interactions with law enforcement in Tennessee related to your sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression?  If so, let us know.  Tell your story.

  • commented 2016-06-10 10:18:44 -0500
    All positive so far.


    Simply put, the younger, better trained cops get it. I would have no problems getting stopped by Metro Nashville PD for a minor violation if I commit one. Very professional folks who I would trust m life with.
  • commented 2016-06-05 21:49:35 -0500
    I’m a white gay man who is HIV+. I’ve been pos for 24 years, have an undetectable viral load, and I have never been diagnosed with an opportunistic infection or diagnosed with AIDS.


    In August of 2014 I was assaulted by a relative after an unexpected encounter at a Walmart in Ashland City, TN. After having an exchange of a few heated words I turn around and walk back towards the entrance. While in the crosswalk she pulls up and then taps me with the car. I walk on and she guns it hitting me. I hit the hood then the windshield. She takes off. I call the cops.


    As the cops turn into the parking lot I notice she is behind one of them. They drive straight to me with her pulling behind them. She immediately jumps out screaming fagot this, fagot that, fagot has AIDS, just a bunch of nasty hate speech.

    They immediately go to her and pointed me to a spot to go stand at while they talk to her. I told him I was the one who called and he told me he would get my side of the story.

    They come over after what felt like forever. He immediately ask me if I have AIDS. I told him no I do not. I then opened my big mouth and told him I was HIV+ and was undetectable. Next thing I know I’m being told to put my hands out and they cuff me.


    I was shocked bc I had done nothing wrong. After asking what I was being arrested for I learned I was being charged with criminal exposure to HIV, a class C felony punishable up to 15 years. I was also charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. It was aggravated bc I’m HIV+ and the deadly weapon was my spit. She lied to the cops and justified her assault by saying I spit on her trying to give her AIDS.


    During my arrest one officer tells another officer “glove up, fagot has AIDS”.


    While being booked in the Cheatham county jail the srgnt tells the booking officer I have AIDS. I corrected him stating I was HIV+ and didn’t have AIDS. While being booked I noticed that the cells are on the other side of booking and everyone heard him say I had AIDS. Needless to say within five minutes of putting me in a cell with another guy he hollered at the guard and told him to get this fagot out of his cell before he killed me. I laughed and told the guy that one thing many hay men learn growing up is how to fight. I let him know I will not their the first punch but I would throw the last one. Is totally bluffing but my this point I was over my stress level and somewhat in shock at what had happened.

    My bond was set at $28,500 and my life completely changed all bc a cop misused a law to justify his bigotry. It was eventually dismissed and expunged but I live on disability and have just got further in debt with each passing month.

    It’s not even possible to spread HIV by spitting on someone and my saliva is perfectly normal and not a deadly weapon.

    That’s my story.

    The end
  • commented 2016-06-05 21:19:03 -0500
    I had a very positive experience. A couple of years ago, someone used a magic marker and drew something graphic on my garage door. I believed it was a couple of neighborhood kids, but I called the Shelby County Sheriff Department. The officer looked at it and commented that it could be considered a hate crime. I confirmed to him that I am gay. He filed the report and before leaving told me to call the Sheriff Department if anything happened again, “no matter how minor.” The next day I received a follow up call asking me how I was doing and if I had any questions. I also received a phone call from one of my neighbors who works for the Memphis Police Department who had read the report to see if I was okay.
  • commented 2016-06-05 19:10:34 -0500
    I’m really worried about female identifying arrestees being incarcerated with male identifying arrestees.
  • commented 2016-06-05 17:14:26 -0500
    I was pulled over on Christmas Day for a tail light: The officer gave me the full interrogation – “What brings you out today?” Etc. I told him I was looking for somewhere to get food and hang out. He told me I ought to check out Suzy Wongs and Tribe, having doubtless seen my LGBT oriented bumper sticker. Was super friendly/kind and was trying to be helpful – never mentioned orientation at all.

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