A Los Angeles couple filed a lawsuit on October 27 against a Hawaii police officer for the harassment they say they received while vacationing there. During the trip, the two committed the horrendous and inexcusable crime of kissing one another on the cheek and holding hands while in a Foodland grocery store. Not willing to let such a criminal act go unpunished, an off-duty police officer is said to shout at them to stop doing so, saying they could not engage in such activity there, and threatening to arrest them.
After checking out, the cop continued to follow and shout at them, still threatening them with arrest for the vile acts of indecency. Attempting to ignore him, the pair continued on their way until it became apparent that officer Bobby Harrison was not going to stop with his invectives and threats. That’s when they decided to call police dispatch to ask about what they could possibly have done wrong, but Harrison wasn’t going to let that happen.
Courtney Wilson says that’s when Harrison grabbed her arm and began trying to use force on the pair, again for holding hands and kissing on the cheek. Her girlfriend, Taylor Guerrero, attempted to step in, but was thrown to the ground by the belligerent Harrison, who then punched Wilson in the face, bloodying her nose. He then dragged them into the basement of the store, tying them up with zip ties and asking Foodland employees to aid him in the capture while customers watched.
The pair was then held and taunted for their blatant displays of normal human affection. They were later arrested and forced to spend their vacation money on bail, as well as ordered to stay on the island of Oahu as a condition of their release. Having no money and no means of leaving, they were forced to live outside in a park until charges were finally dropped–five months later.
Wilson and Guerrero are now fighting back, trying to get justice for the police abuse of power and complete bigotry displayed by Harrison, a 26 year veteran of the force. They are suing for damages and for the disregard of their civil liberties. Sadly, it appears that the cop and his accomplices will not face any criminal charges for the hate crime, assault, and kidnapping, but hopefully they will serve as an example to others who think that it’s okay to abuse people for no reason whatsoever.
Until then, make sure you don’t hold hands or kiss each other on the cheek in front of a Hawaiian police officer lest you be assaulted, kidnapped, extorted, and made homeless for five months.
You can view the lawsuit here.