A lesbian couple has filed a federal lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department and an off-duty officer alleging they were attacked and arrested for kissing in a grocery store.
Courtney Wilson, 25, and Taylor Guerrero, 22, were shopping in a Foodland market and being affectionate when an off-duty policeman in uniform told them to “take it somewhere else,” the lawsuit claims.
The women continued shopping, they said. Their suit claims that Harrison violated their civil rights and discriminated against them because of their sexual orientation.
The suit was filed Tuesday in Honolulu. Police have launched an internal investigation of the March incident, according to several published reports. It is not clear whether the 26-year veteran is still on the job or if he has an attorney.
A call from Inside Edition to the police department was not immediately returned Friday.
The officer again saw them hugging and kissing and threatened to have them thrown out of the store, the suit alleges. The Los Angeles women were in Honolulu for their vacation, they said.
Harrison summoned the store’s manager and told him to issue a trespassing warning, the suit says.
When Harrison told them to get out of the checkout line, Wilson dialed 911 on her cell phone and walked outside to give details to the dispatcher, the lawsuit says.
Harrison followed her out, grabbed her, and took her cell phone, according to the suit. Guerrero, who tried to intervene, was knocked to the ground by Harrison, the women allege.
Both women were arrested on charges of assaulting an officer. They were ordered to stay in Honolulu as a condition of their release from jail on bond.
The charges were later dropped by the prosecutor. The women say they took odd jobs to support themselves in Honolulu.
At a press conference Wednesday, Guerrero told journalists in Hawaii, “I really just want an example to be made, despite whatever happens. I just think what he did was absolutely wrong, without a doubt.”