Honolulu accepted court’s order to pay $80,000 as settlement to a lawsuit from two gay women who were humiliated at a grocery store. A police officer on duty is alleged to have wrongfully arrested the lesbian couple after seeing them kiss and caress each other in public.
Details of the settlement were announced Friday in federal court in Honolulu.
The court order remains subject to City Council’s approval which is expected to reconsider the settlement at a July 6 hearing, said Honolulu Deputy Corporation Counsel Nicolette Winter.
Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero were visiting Hawaii from Los Angeles last year when they were harassed and arrested because the officer found them showing affection in public.
Image: The incident which led to this lawsuit occurred in 2015 at Foodland store on Oahu’s North Shore.
Although legal proceedings has been delayed until now, Courtney and Taylor are both excited with the final court settlement.
According to a report, both were walking through the aisles holding hands and at one point hugged and kissed each other.
Officer Bobby Harrison, who was shopping in uniform, “observed their consensual romantic contact and, in a loud voice, ordered plaintiffs to stop and ‘take it somewhere else.”’
Courtney and Taylor complied with the instructions from the police officer and moved on with their shopping but couldn’t control their feelings afterwards. They got lost into each other again.
Angry and offended, Officer Harrison threatened to have them thrown out of the store. He then watched them stroll to the check-out line before grabbing one of the women by the wrist. All three persons got into a fight but the officer successfully arrested them.
A bystander confirmed that one of the lesbian couple started calling 911 as the struggle continued.
Both women spent three days in jail after being arrested. They were charged with felony assault.
After the lawsuit was filed, Honolulu Police Department opened an internal investigation though results weren’t made public as at Saturday.
“The settlement dismisses Harrison from the lawsuit and isn’t an admission of any wrongdoing,” Winter said.
Wilson said she and Guerrero are no longer a couple but remain friends. She went back to Los Angeles while Guerrero decided to stay in Honolulu.