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'Roller Girl' Angela Dawson wins $15K damages from Vancouver police

03/25/2015 09:46 EDT | Updated 05/25/2015 05:59 EDT
Angela Dawson, a transgender woman known to many Vancouverites as "Roller Girl," has won a B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case against Vancouver police, who referred to her as "Jeffrey."

Dawson, who was born with the legal name Jeffrey Allan Dawson, claimed she was entitled to be treated as a woman by police, but that in six separate incidents with police, she was mistreated and identified as a man.

Vancouver Police Board has now been ordered to pay Dawson $15,000 as damages for "injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect," after the tribunal found the treatment she received amounted to discrimination on the basis of her sex.

'Roller Girl' well known in Vancouver

Dawson is a familiar face in downtown Vancouver and on the city's Downtown Eastside, where she can often be spotted in her trademark bright pink outfits and big headphones, whizzing around on pink rollerblades.

According to the tribunal's ruling, Dawson has an extensive criminal history, involving violence, drugs and fraud and has previously been convicted of manslaughter and spent at least 10 years in a male penitentiary.

Vancouver police have had numerous encounters with Dawson on the Downtown Eastside, and she has been occasionally ticketed for trying to direct traffic.

The tribunal found that once Dawson informed officers that she was a transgender female and was not treated as such, that was considered discrimination on the basis of sex.

Vancouver Police Board has also been ordered to adopt policies within the next year that recognize and prevent discrimination of identification of transgender people.

Read the full B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruling

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