Today, HRC and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, one of the nation's premier racial justice organizations, released a letter requesting that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra conduct a thorough review and investigation into a recent anti-transgender incident in California. This past week, Jazmina Saavedra -- a political candidate in California -- recorded a non-consensual video of her following a transgender woman into a bathroom, harassing her and repeatedly and intentionally misgendering her. The candidate then posted the video online and later posted anti-transgender language on her social media platforms. If the incident as described and captured by the candidate is accurate, the incident may qualify as a hate crime, which under California law can include misdemeanors in addition to physical assault and other crimes. The letter to Attorney General Becerra asks for a full investigation into this potential hate crime and clear invasion of the harassed woman’s privacy.
“Across our country, we are seeing a spike in hate crimes targeted at our nation's most vulnerable communities. We urge State Attorney General Becerra to use every tool in his arsenal to determine whether Ms. Saavedra's conduct violates state law,” said Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “As the federal government continues to retreat from its responsibility to prevent and prosecute hate crimes, we urge state law enforcement agencies to step in, fill the void and protect the rights of survivors.”
“Jazmina Saavedra’s actions are dangerous. She invaded a woman’s privacy while harassing and misgendering the victim. This type of discriminatory behavior is unacceptable, especially from someone seeking to represent the people of California,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “HRC joins Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in requesting that Attorney General Becerra launch a full and thorough investigation into this potential hate crime.”
In November of 2017, the HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report detailing the epidemic of anti-transgender violence over the past five years.
The Stop Hate Project of the Lawyers’ Committee works to strengthen the capacity of local government as well as community leaders, law enforcement, and organizations around the country to combat hate by connecting these groups with legal and social services resources and creating new ones in response to identified needs.