Lesbian Couple Arrested In Hawaii For Kissing In Public, Files Lawsuit

A lesbian couple on vacation in Hawaii were roughed up and arrested after a Honolulu cop didn’t care for their public displays of affection, including kissing in public, the couple allege in a lawsuit filed this week.

As the Huffington Post reports, Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson, from Los Angeles, were on vacation in Hawaii in March when they stopped by a Foodland grocery store. There, Officer Bobby Harrison, who was off-duty but in uniform, observed the couple holding hands and kissing. He ordered them to stop and told them to “take it somewhere else.”

“You girls don’t know how to act. You don’t know the difference between a motel and a grocery store.”

In the lawsuit, which you can read in its entirety here, the couple claim that they complied with Harrison’s demands, but by the time they got to the checkout, they were back to hugging and kissing. He threatened to throw them out of the store and then chose to intervene physically.

Harrison then grabbed Wilson by the wrist, and she attempted to call 911 for help. Guerrero tried to get between the cop and his girlfriend, and she alleges that he punched her and then kicked her as she was falling.

“The whole situation got physical. I got punched in the face by him. I split my nose open. We were on the ground.”

Harrison, lacking handcuffs, then asked store employees to restrain the couple while he tried to find zip ties.

“They took us down to the basement of Foodland where they continued to harass us about our conduct in the store, asking us if it was worth it, if we were happy where we are. We were just shocked that it all happened.”

Customers looked on in horror and did nothing.

“You can’t really blame them for not getting involved.”

The couple were then taken to jail, where Wilson says she was denied medical treatment for two days, and charged with felony assault on a police officer.

Bail for the two women was set at $12,000. The two would spend three days in jail before being able to pay a bail bondsman to bond them out, spending their vacation money in the process.

Ordered to stay in Honolulu as part of their bail conditions and lacking money, the two women stayed with friends and strangers. At one point, they slept in a park. They feared that they would have to stay in a homeless shelter.

Five months later, the prosecutor dropped their case and threw out all charges against the couple, who had found work in the meantime cleaning vacation rentals.

As of this post, the Honolulu Police department has not commented on the couple’s lawsuit, as department policy forbids them from commenting on pending litigation. They did state, however, that they have launched an internal investigation — without commenting on whether or not it’s been completed or what the outcome is. Officer Harrison remains on active duty as of this post.

Foodland, which is not part of the couple’s lawsuit, has apologized for their role in the incident.

The couple’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages; Wilson says she just wants “justice.”

“I just think that what he did was absolutely wrong without a doubt. I just really want an example to be made.”

Do you think this couple deserves compensation for what happened to them in Hawaii? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image via Shutterstock/Palto]

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