The Lesbian Couple Jailed For Kissing In Hawaii Just Received An $80,000 Settlement
Imagine being jailed for kissing your partner while on vacation. That’s exactly what happened to Los Angeles residents Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero while in a supermarket on a holiday in Honolulu, Hawaii in March 2015. The gay couple, after being jailed in Hawaii, just received an $80,000 settlement for their troubles this week. It seems like a small price to pay for being allegedly assaulted and profiled for trying to enjoy yourself.
According to reports, Wilson and Guerrero stopped to kiss in a supermarket when Officer Bobby Harrison spotted them and didn’t seem to like their public display of affection. Harrison told them to “take it somewhere else” according to Reuters and also asked the store manager to kick them out for trespassing. Allegedly, things got heated pretty quickly. According to Eric Seitz, the women’s attorney, the officer initiated a physical altercation and the girls struck back. They were arrested for a short time for assault but the charges were ultimately dropped. But that was a little too late for the women, who had spent 3 nights in jail and paid a bail bondsman $1,300 for bail each, for $12,000 bail, a head.
Obviously, they filed suit against city and county of Honolulu in October 2015. The supermarket, which did in fact issue trespassing charges against the women, has already paid the couple $10,000. The $80,000 settlement still has to be approved by the city of Honolulu, but Seitz said that he “expects it to happen.”
The women are actually no longer a couple. After they were released from jail, they were ordered to stay on the island until the charges were officially dropped, so were sort of stuck. Guerrero decided that she liked Hawaii, even if some were a little homophobic. Wilson moved back to Los Angeles.
She told Hawaii News Now that she and Guerrero weren’t even sure what they were getting into when they filed suit. She said, “I don’t really know what either of us were looking to get honestly. It wasn’t money or anything.” Wilson added, “we wanted to be compensated, but I think more or less we wanted Officer Harrison to suffer some sort of repercussions for his actions.”
But it looks like they’ll have to content themselves with a settlement for now, even though Honolulu says that the cash is by no means an indication of guilt. Harrison remained on active, full duty after the incident. He then retired a few months after the lawsuit was filed, after serving for 26 years.
$80,000 isn’t a whole lot of money when it comes to alleged police brutality and discrimination, but it’ll have to do for now.