Lesbian couple arrested for kissing in public receive $80,000
The couple say they were assaulted by a police officer during their arrest.
A lesbian couple are to be awarded $80,000 after being wrongfully arrested by a police officer while on vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero were visiting the city from their home in Los Angeles last year when the arrest took place.
While in a supermarket, a police officer spotted them being affectionate and told them to “stop it”, and “take it somewhere else”.
As they kissed later, the women, – who are no longer a couple – say Officer Bobby Harrison told them he would have them removed from the premises.
They allege that as they tried to pay for their goods, the officer grabbed Wilson by the wrist.
When Wilson tried to call an emergency number, the three got into a fight.
The pair were eventually arrested and charged with felony assault, spending three days in jail before the charges were dropped.
An investigation was launched by the Honolulu Police Department after the lawsuit was filed against Harrison.
“The internal investigation was completed, and the allegations were not sustained,” department spokeswoman Michelle Yu told Associated Press.
She added that Harrison had retired before the investigation ended.
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The plaintiffs have said they are happy with the settlement, but that they had hoped that Harrison would face punishment.
Although no longer in a relationship, the women remain good friends.
Wilson moved back to Los Angeles while Guerrero – who was forced to stay in Honolulu during the investigation – decided she liked it enough to stay.
“I’m glad it’s over, but at the same time we wanted the officer to suffer some sort of repercussion,” Wilson told AP.
They plan to use the settlement to pay their legal fees and split the money between them.