Woman sues park ranger for alleged transphobic tazing
A California woman filed a lawsuit against both the U.S. and a Bureau of Land Management ranger she said tazed her twice because she used to be a man.
According to KGTV-TV, Brooke Fantelli’s lawsuit (PDF) names both “the United States of America” and the ranger, identified only as “J. Peter” as defendants for their roles in an Oct. 27 2011 encounter where the ranger tazed her twice despite her not resisting arrest.
At the time, Fantelli said she did refuse to lay down on the ground, but cell phone video she provided the station showed she was standing away from the ranger with her hands up in the air, seemingly not threatening him.
“I’ve got plenty of money invested in myself in the area of $65,000 worth of plastic surgery, braces and other things that are important to me,” she said last year.
Fantelli was arrested and charged with public intoxication for the incident, and said the ranger, upon learning she was transgender by looking at her identification, switched from referring to her with female pronouns like “ma’am” and “miss” to calling her “dude” and “sir,” and tazed her a second time in the genitalia while restraining her on the ground.
She said she didn’t expect much to happen to the ranger despite the lawsuit.
“[He will] probably get his wrist slapped and he’ll probably still be out there working the same desert I used to race in,” Fantelli told the station.
Video of the incident, posted on YouTube last year by user “autumn59,” can be seen below.