Lesbian Couple Allegedly Arrested and Assaulted by Cop for Kissing in Grocery Store

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The Honolulu Police Department has opened up an internal investigation into the actions of Officer Bobby Harrison, a 26-year veteran of the force who allegedly arrested and assaulted Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero after he saw the couple kissing in a grocery store back in March.

The couple each spent three days in jail for ‘assaulting a police offer,’ paid $1,300 respectively for bail, and had to remain in Honolulu for months afterward as a condition of their release. During that period they were forced to find temporary work and lodging, and spent some time sleeping in a park.

Wilson and Guerrero’s lawsuit claims that they were shopping in Foodland when Harrison, who was off-duty at the time, “observed their consensual romantic contact and, in a loud voice, ordered plaintiffs to stop and ‘take it somewhere else.”’ Harrison allegedly followed them to the check out line and threatened to have them arrested for trespassing, prompting Wilson to begin dialing 911.

Wilson claims that Harrison then grabbed her arm; according to Guerrero, “He was bumping his belly against Courtney. He said, ‘you girls don’t know how to act. You don’t know the difference between a motel and a grocery store.'”

Harrison reportedly shoved Guerrero when she tried to get in between the officer and her girlfriend. Says Wilson, “The whole situation got physical. I got punched in the face by him.”

According to Hawaii News Now, Harrison then had Foodstaff employees restrain the women with zip ties because he did not have handcuffs on him:

The women said Foodland employees were then instructed to hold them down until someone found zip ties.

“They took us down to the basement of Foodland where they continued to harass us about our conduct in the store, asking us if it was worth it, if we were happy where we are,” Wilson said. “We were just shocked that it all happened.” …

Wilson also told reporters that she was denied medical treatment at the scene and after she was arrested. Pictures of her injuries weren’t taken until two days after the assault.

Guerrero says that “We were holding hands and I was kissing her cheek” when Harrison first told them they would need to stop. News Now reports that the couples’ visit to the store was caught on surveillance camera, but that the tapes have since disappeared.

According to The Huffington Post, Harrison remains “on full active duty.”

Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

(via Boing Boing)

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