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Lesbian couple awarded $80K for kissing incident

Posted: 3:21 PM, May 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-21 19:23:58Z

A lesbian couple has been awarded $80,000 from the state of Hawaii after they were arrested for an incident that began with them kissing in a grocery store.

Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson of Los Angeles were visiting the store on O’ahu in March 2015 when an off-duty police officer accosted the couple for kissing and showing affection toward each other.

"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.'”

 

 

At least one witness came forward to claim that the couple’s behavior was inappropriate.

“In my opinion it was lewd conduct in what they were doing. I wouldn't want my children to see that," an unidentified woman told Hawaii News Now .

The women continued to shop, and when the officer saw the couple kissing again a scuffle broke out. The officer was apparently put in a headlock by one of the women, and he allegedly punched WIlson in the face.

The women were eventually arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer, a felony. They spent three days in jail before their charges were dropped.

The couple filed a lawsuit against the state in October claiming that their constitutional rights were violated.

On Friday, the state announced it had agreed to an $80,000 settlement with the women, though the state did not admit to any wrongdoing.

"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.

Officer Bobby Harrison, the off-duty cop involved in the incident, retired in January soon after Wilson and Guerrero filed their lawsuit.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.