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Lesbian couple arrested for kissing in public receives $80K settlement

By
Marilyn Malara
A Los Angeles couple arrested for kissing in a grocery store last year have reached a settlement with the Hawaiian government. Screenshot Photo from Hawaii News Now
A Los Angeles couple arrested for kissing in a grocery store last year have reached a settlement with the Hawaiian government. Screenshot Photo from Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU, May 21 (UPI) -- Two women arrested after kissing in a Hawaii grocery store have been awarded an $80,000 settlement by the state.

Los Angeles residents Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson were vacationing in Oahu during the spring of 2015 when they were arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer.

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The arresting officer, Bobby Harrison, who was reportedly off-duty at the time of the incident, allegedly harassed the couple after seeing them display their affection at the store, Foodland Pupukea.

"We were holding hands and I was kissing her cheek," Wilson told reporters at the time. "He was like, 'You girls, you girls can't do that in here.' "

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An eyewitness told Hawaii News Now the women were acting inappropriately in the grocery store's aisles, but Wilson denied the allegation.

The lawsuit, filed last year, claims Harrison "observed their consensual romantic contact and, in a loud voice, ordered plaintiffs to stop and 'take it somewhere else,'" threatening to throw them out of the store.

Wilson was allegedly punched in the face by the officer, who she claimed had Guerrero in a head lock, during a scuffle after three crossed paths again in a checkout line. The incident resulted in the women's arrest. Charges were later dropped for lack of evidence like surveillance video.

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The settlement must be approved by the Honolulu City Council in July, Courtney Wilson told Hawaii News Now she didn't "really know what either of us were looking to get honestly."

"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," she said.

Harrison reportedly retired in January, two months after the lawsuit was filed in October 2015.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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