An Ohio police department has disciplined a detective for playing music to mock a transgender woman as she was being interrogated.
Robin Adelmann, 34, was arrested by Lakewood Police officers in December on a shoplifting charge. She told NewsNet5.com that the officers treated her respectfully during her arrest, but the situation changed while she was in custody.
Detective Tom McLaughlin started playing Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like a Lady)” loudly at his desk as another officer questioned her.
“I look at the detective [questioning me] and I’m like, ‘You know why he’s doing that, right?’ And the detective was like, ‘Hey, what can ya do?'” Adelmann told Clevescene.
When the Aerosmith song finished, McLaughlin started playing “Lola” by The Kinks. The detective interviewing Adelmann then told McLaughlin to turn off the music, but he replied, “Hey, it’s a good song,” Robin said.
Adelmann later filed a formal complaint with the Lakewood Police Department, prompting police chief Tim Malley to open an internal investigation. McLaughlin was given sensitivity training and a verbal warning.
“It doesn’t shine the Lakewood Police Department in a very good light,” Malley told NewsNet5.com. “The officer knows what he did was inappropriate. He feels very badly for our complainant here.”
Adelmann told Cleveland.com that the punishment was appropriate.
“Word will spread [through the Lakewood Police Department] and they’ll know they can’t do that again,” she said.
Adelmann also said the Aerosmith song had been used to humiliate her before.
“This song is like the bane of our existence,” she told Clevescene. “I’ve been in bars when guys have seen me and gone up to the jukebox and played that fucking song.”
Watch video, courtesy of NewsNet5, below: