A lesbian couple arrested last year for holding hands and kissing in a grocery store in Honolulu, Hawaii has been awarded $80,000 in damages.
Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero, two Los Angeles natives who vacationed as a couple in Honolulu in March 2015, were displaying affection towards one another—as you do—when Honolulu police office Bobby Harrison approached the pair.
As Autostraddle reported:
[At the time,] Harrison told them to stop and “take it somewhere else.” When they didn’t comply, the situation escalated and Harrison “threw Plaintiff Guerrero on to the ground, striking Plaintiff Wilson in the process, and placed both of them in restraints,” according to the lawsuit. Guerrero and Wilson were arrested and jailed for two days on charges of assault of an officer[.]
Harrison claimed that he arrested Guerrero and Wilson for assaulting a police officer. After the incident, Honolulu PD spokesperson Michelle Yu said that “the department opened an internal investigation into the incident,” according to NBC.
These charges were subsequently dropped.
In exchange for the award, both Wilson and Guerrero have abandoned their claims against Harrison—but according to Wilson, her and Guerrero’s original intention was not to seek monetary compensation.
“For the publicity that it has gained, I hope that people saw it and it gives them inspiration to stand up for the civil rights that we have and to not tolerate bigotry behavior like that because it’s not acceptable,” Wilson stated.
She also stated that that she hopes “Harrison “[suffers] some sort of repercussions for his actions.”
While Guerrero and Wilson are no longer romantically involved, Autostraddle noted that both parties, who remain friends, plan to split the money they will receive after their legal fees have been taken care of.
In the aftermath of the event, Honolulu’s legal representatives have stated they hope all parties have been satisfied with the results of the settlement.
“The Department of the Corporation Counsel believes that the tentative settlement is in the best interests of the city,” said city attorney Donna Leong in a statement last week.
As for the victims? Guerrero, who remained on the island after the 2015 incident, told reporters that she’s “just glad it’s over with.”
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Image via AP.