A transgender woman claims she was pulled from her vehicle at gunpoint and mocked for her sexual orientation by Winnipeg police officers who mistook her for a criminal.
Nikki Cox filed a lawsuit earlier this month against the officers, the police service and the City of Winnipeg. She claims her rights were breached through the “unlawful and unjustified detention, false arrest and abuse of authority” and is seeking unspecified financial damages.
Cox claims she was driving her vehicle just after midnight last June 14 when she pulled into the parking lot of the St. James Civic Centre and stopped to have a cigarette.
She was alone in the car but quickly had company in the form of the police helicopter hovering above and two cruiser cars which boxed her in, according to her statement of claim.
Cox says several officers emerged with their guns drawn, forced her from her vehicle, kneed her in the back and handcuffed her. She was then placed in the back of a police car while officers allegedly began searching her vehicle, believing there was another person inside.
Cox claims she was sitting inside the vehicle when she heard “some officers talking in chuckling voices saying, ‘He’s a tranny.’”
Cox says she was released a few minutes later without charge. The only explanation given to her was “Sorry, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” as part of an ongoing police search for a suspect in a break-and-enter that had just occurred.
Cox says she suffered physical injuries, humiliation and anxiety during the incident, along with being “subjected to humiliating comments as to (her) sexuality.”