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Port Authority & LGBTQ Settlement

By Charlotte Robinson, June 02, 2022

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has settled a lawsuit filed in 2017 for their discriminatory practice of using plainclothes officers to arrest gay, bisexual & gender nonconforming people & falsely accusing them of public lewdness & exposure in the Port Authority Bus Terminal men’s restrooms. In the case of Holden et al. v. The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey et al the parties reached the settlement to avoid a trial. The settlement also requires the PAPD to end their discriminatory practices. Plaintiff Miguel Mejia stated, “I’m proud of the difference we’ve made by standing up against the PAPD’s bias-based policing. As a commuter who passes through Port Authority facilities on a daily basis, I will feel safer knowing that the reforms we fought for have been put in place, making it so that people like me aren’t arrested just because of who we are or what we look like.” Plaintiff Cornell Holden added, “No one should have to go through what I went through & I hope that the PAPD will change as a result of this lawsuit & settlement. Now that the case is settled, I’m eager to put it behind me & focus on growing my cake-baking business.” The plaintiffs were represented by the Legal Aid Society & Winston & Strawn LLP. Seth E. Spitzer Winston & Strawn Partner concluded, “We are elated for our clients & the public at large that the PAPD has finally embraced reforms that will bring an end to these discriminatory practices. This settlement caps many years of tireless litigation that has achieved a just outcome for which we simply should not have had to fight so hard.”

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