May 6, 2009

Lawsuit: Cop threatened man in skirt

A man's lawsuit against the New Orleans Police Department says an officer threatened to arrest him for wearing a black pinstriped skirt in Municipal Court.

Jeremy Don Kerr, who describes himself as a heterosexual male of Scottish ancestry, said in his U.S. District Court lawsuit that officer Glen Tate confronted him as he was leaving the courtroom for an appearance on a charge of disturbing the peace, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Wednesday.

Kerr said the officer violated his rights by demanding to know why he was wearing a skirt during the May 5, 2008, incident.

He followed me out of the courtroom yelling at me, he grabs me by the shoulder and pulls me around, Kerr said Monday. He had no right to ask me that question. You couldn't ask a woman, 'Why are you wearing pants?'

He threatened to take me out of the courthouse and put me in Orleans Parish Prison over a simple choice of attire, Kerr said.

The lawsuit is seeking a declaratory judgment affirming that Kerr's rights were violated and $1 in damages.