Lesbians who say they were arrested for kissing in public get $80k settlement
Two lesbians are to be awarded $80,000 to settle a lawsuit after they say they were wrongfully arrested by a police officer who didn’t like them kissing in public.
The two women were visiting Honolulu, Hawaii last year, and allege that the officer in question saw them kiss in public before arresting them.
According to reports, the settlement is still subject to approval from the Honolulu City Council, which will meet on 6 July.
Corporation Counsel Donna Leong said in a statement: “The Department of the Corporation Counsel believes that the tentative settlement is in the best interests of the city.”
The women, Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero, were visiting the city from their home in Los Angeles in 2015.
They allege that the officer, Bobby Harrison, told them to “take it somewhere else” when he witnessed them holding hands, hugging and kissing in a shop.
When he later saw them kiss, the women, who were a couple but now are just friends, say Harrison told them he would have them removed from the premises.
Their lawsuit alleges that when trying to check out, the officer grabbed Wilson by the wrist.
They were eventually arrested and charged with felony assault. After spending three days in jail the charges were dropped.
An investigation was launched by the Honolulu Police Department after the lawsuit was filed against the officer.
The plaintiffs have said they are happy with the settlement, but that they had hoped that Harrison would face more repercussions.