Courtney Wilson and Taylor Guerrero sued Honolulu city police department after they were arrested for kissing in a grocery store. It was announced on Friday in a federal court in Honolulu that the city would pay the couple $80,000. The City Council still needs to approve the settlement.
“The Department of the Corporation Counsel believes that the tentative settlement is in the best interests of the city,” Corporation Counsel Donna Leong said.
The couple was visiting Hawaii last year when the incident occurred. They started kissing outside a grocery store when police officer Bobby Harrison spotted them and ordered them to “take it elsewhere.” The two women stopped and continued to shop but Harrison reportedly saw them kissing again and threatened to throw them out of the store. He approached them as they attempted to check out of the store. Wilson felt threatened and attempted to call 911 but Harrison grabbed her by the arm. Guerrero attempted to get between Harrison and Wilson and separate them, at which point Harrison allegedly punched her in the face, threw her to the ground, and told her she was under arrest for assaulting a police officer. The women were charged with felony assault and spent three days in jail. The charges were ultimately dropped but the coupled filed a lawsuit against the police department in October.
“I don’t really know what either of us were looking to get honestly,” Wilson told hawaiinewsnow.com. “It wasn’t money or anything. We wanted to be compensated, but I think more or less we wanted Officer Harrison to suffer some sort of repercussions for his actions.”
Harrison retired two months after the lawsuit was filed so it is unclear whether he will face any consequences for what he did.