Neither Kris Smith nor his attorney understand how talking on the phone on a sidewalk next to a fast-food restaurant parking lot ever became a punishable crime, but one night this past December, Smith found himself in jail because of it.
Smith was walking along Westheimer in Montrose, on the way to his girlfriend’s house, when the phone rang. His employer was calling, and so to get away from the bustling traffic, Smith walked toward the Burger King where it was a little quieter. Midway through his brief phone conversation, a police cruiser pulled into the parking lot right in front of a man who appeared homeless, sitting at the very back of the lot. Police got out to arrest the man. Not wanting to deal with the ruckus, Smith started to walk away — when a cop yelled out to him, “Stop. Come over here,” Smith remembers.
After his arrest, he was jeered because of his gender identity.