Mother Arrested in Police Raid at Home for Calling Transgender 'Man' on Twitter
Mom of 3 arrested in front of children, devices seized, thrown in jail cell
A mother was arrested in front of her three children during a police raid on her home after she "misgendered" and born-male transgender woman by calling them a "man" on Twitter.
Kate Scottow was thrown in a jail cell for seven hours after three police officers raided her home in Hertfordshire, UK, seizing her laptop and smartphone.
The 38-year-old mom of three from Hitchin was later questioned at a police station about an argument with transgender "activist" Stephanie Hayden on Twitter over so-called "deadnaming," which is when a person is referred to as their birth name rather than the name they choose to identify with.
Mrs. Scottow had her photograph, DNA, and fingerprints taken following her arrest and remains under investigation by Hertfordshire Police for linking Hayden to a "former male identity."
According to the Daily Mail, more than two months after her arrest on December 1, she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned, which she says is hampering her studies for a Masters in forensic psychology.
Writing on online forum Mumsnet, Mrs. Scottow – who has also been served with a court order that bans her from referring to her accuser as a man – claims:
"I was arrested in my home by three officers, with my autistic ten-year-old daughter and breastfed 20-month-old son present.
"I was then detained for seven hours in a cell with no sanitary products (which I said I needed) before being interviewed then later released under investigation ...
"I was arrested for harassment and malicious communications because I called someone out and misgendered them on Twitter."
Confirming the arrest, Hertfordshire Police said: "We take all reports of malicious communication seriously."
The case is the latest where police have been accused of being heavy-handed in dealing with people who go online to debate gender issues.
Sitcom writer Graham Linehan was given a verbal harassment warning by West Yorkshire Police after transgender activist Stephanie Hayden reported him for referring to them by their previous names and pronouns on Twitter.
It was complaints by Miss Hayden that led both to the arrest of, and an injunction against, Mrs. Scottow.
High Court papers obtained by The Mail on Sunday detail how Mrs. Scottow is accused of a "campaign of targeted harassment" against Hayden, allegedly motivated by their "status as a transgender woman."
The papers claim that, as a "toxic" debate raged online over plans to allow people to "self-ID" as another gender, Mrs. Scottow tweeted "defamatory" messages about Hayden.
She is also alleged to have used accounts in two names to "harass, defame, and publish derogatory and defamatory tweets" about Hayden, including referring to them as male, stating they were "racist, xenophobic and a crook" and mocking them as a "fake lawyer."
Mrs. Scottow denied harassing or defaming Hayden and said she holds a "genuine and reasonable belief" that a human "cannot practically speaking change sex," but Deputy Judge Jason Coppel QC issued an interim injunction that bans her from posting any personal information about Hayden on social media, "referencing her as a man" or linking them to their "former male identity."
Mrs. Scottow last night declined to comment.