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Nikita Dragun Arrested and Misgendered by Police

Nikita Nguyen, known as Nikita Dragun, has been a social media presence since she joined YouTube in 2013. Her following has grown to over 3.54 million subscribers on YouTube, 9 million followers on Instagram and 14.5 million followers on TikTok. She is known for making beauty content videos, focusing on makeup which led to her releasing a makeup line in 2019, entitled Dragun Beauty. Nikita Dragun is also a transgender woman and has been open about her gender identity on her social media accounts. 

Dragun “had been causing a disturbance for a long period of time and was walking around the pool area unclothed” at The Goodtime Hotel earlier last week on Tuesday, Nov. 8, according to hotel security. The hotel’s staff and security told her to stop but she threw water at them, leading them to call the police. When the police arrived, Dragun was back in her room but still causing a disturbance. She was once again asked to stop, before she threw water and water bottles at police officers and hotel security, hitting them and covering them in water.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and felony battery of a law enforcement officer. Dragun was then held in a men’s unit of the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami for at least one day. She was later released on her own recognizance, meaning she did not have to pay bail.

Dragun’s team later released a statement regarding the incident. “The situation with Nikita, who is legally female, being placed in a men’s unit of a Florida jail is extremely disturbing and dangerous,” according to Jack Ketsoyan, a representative for Dragun with Full Scope Public Relations. “This decision made by the Miami-Dade County corrections department directly violates their protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity. Nikita has been released and is now safe.”

Nikita Dragun herself then made a statement in an Instagram post.

In the caption of the post Dragun states “mami i’m srry. i promise i am not in jail… anymore. u know The Dolls causing trouble trouble in miami sister. the only place La Dragona can be treating like a real princesa.” Though acknowledging her arrest, she made no comment on being placed in the wrong unit and being misgendered.

Jack Ketsoyan recognized that Dragun’s misplacement was a violation of protocol, and it is unfortunately common treatment of transgender people in the United States, clearly no matter status. Research shows that transgender inmates face greater risk of assault and abuse when placed in units according to the gender they were assigned at birth, not the gender they identify with. Even with this heightened risk, Miami-Dade county is facing a lawsuit after three other transgender people were also misgendered after being arrested.

Trans people’s identities should not be ignored and disrespected even after they have done something wrong. Dragun’s treatment after her arrest has brought attention to the mistreatment that trans people face when incarcerated, and will hopefully help generate change.

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Sophie Roguski is a Junior at Florida State University, majoring in International Affairs, with a minor in Hospitality Management. She loves romcoms, celebrity gossip, and has a strong desire to travel more.