ATLANTA — A transgender woman says she spent nearly half a year in the Fulton County Jail for what she called bogus charges that were eventually dismissed. Now, she’s suing the city.
Juzema Goldring told Channel 2's Craig Lucie that when an Atlanta police officer stopped her in October 2015 for jaywalking, it changed her life forever.
“It’s been really traumatizing,” Goldring said.
“You say you were not even jaywalking. You were sitting there at the curb?” Lucie asked Goldring.
“Yes,” she replied.
Goldring said it started with the jaywalking accusation but then got much more serious.
“He went into my purse and he started pulling my stuff out of it and he pulled out the stress ball and he was like, ‘Bingo.’ And I was like, ‘It’s a stress ball,’” Goldring said.
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Goldring and her attorneys said the officer cut open the stress ball and did a drug test on it. One of the officers claimed it tested positive for cocaine.
In the days and months after Goldring was arrested, she says she was placed in solitary confinement in the Fulton County Jail and said she was punched in her right eye.
“I was horrified,” attorney Jeffrey Filipovits said. “We’ve got other evidence that this guy knew that this test wasn’t positive."
“Here your client is locked up for half a year,” Lucie said.
“Half a year and she can’t do anything,” Filipovits said.
"The city of Atlanta has argued that a person can be detained for 6 months for jaywalking despite the fact that the person wasn’t jaywalking at all,” attorney Zack Greenamyre said.
Lucie contacted the city of Atlanta about the situation and it sent him a statement saying:
"The city remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring dignity and justice for the transgender community. However, we do contest the version of the facts contained in the press release and would ask the public to wait on the Court's determination in this matter.”
Goldring’s attorneys want this to go to a jury trial, but the city has filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss this lawsuit entirely.