Trans YouTuber Nikita Dragun was misgendered and booked as male after her November 7 arrest on charges including felony battery and disorderly conduct, according to a police report obtained by NBC News.
As this story is developing there are videos circulating that suggest Nikita Dragun, a trans woman, was held in a men's jail. I wanted to share the parts of the arrest affidavit that misgender Nikita. The affidavit says Nikita "would like to be recognized as a male." https://t.co/z0WElBDrwB pic.twitter.com/N4aR06vxJo
— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) November 9, 2022
Miami-Dade Police reported that the beauty influencer was “causing a disturbance and being extremely disorderly” and walking around the pool area of the Goodtime Hotel “unclothed.” When police showed up at her hotel room, Dragun allegedly threw water at an officer.
In her bond hearing before a judge, Dragun asked, “Um, may I — do I have to stay here in the men’s unit still?”
In a video clip of the hearing, the judge says that she doesn’t “make the rules up there” but that Dragun should have access to “proper accommodation” in a “separate area.”
Nikita’s representative, Jack Ketsoyan, reiterated that concern, telling Miami’s Local 10 News that holding Dragun in a men’s unit “directly violates [Miami-Dade Corrections Department] protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity.” Ketsoyan called the alleged action “extremely disturbing and dangerous.”
But the Miami-Dade Corrections Department denies that Dragun, who has since been released on bail, was ever held in a men’s unit. Corrections spokesperson Juan Diasgranados said in a statement that Dragun never made it past booking and was never held with other inmates of any gender.
“Inmate Dragun never made it beyond the booking process prior to release; therefore, she was never placed in a men’s unit,” the spokesperson explained. “All inmates undergoing our intake process remain in an open seating (open booking) area, in the presence of correctional staff. Additionally, inmate Dragun was placed in a holding cell by herself due to her high profile status before being released, and she was escorted by an LGBTQ officer during her time at the corrections facility.”
While it’s not clear if Dragun was ever in a men’s unit, it’s not uncommon for transgender women to be incarcerated with men. Just last year, the Biden administration issued a first-of-its-kind court filing calling the practice “cruel and unusual punishment.”