She held out her Texas state ID and a tattered birth certificate.
Both documents said Ricardo, not Claudia—and the ID, when plugged into the computer, called up a long list of prison stints.
A uniformed officer called her over to his booth, barely making eye contact.
He cut an authoritarian bust behind his desk, just upper torso visible on a boosted chair.
Claudia is thin and gangly, five feet seven inches, with dark skin, a broad nose, and deep-set brown eyes.
Her smile is a few teeth shy of being pristine—metal caps top her canines, and flash when she talks.
An elderly couple greeted her warmly in Spanish from across the block, slipping into calling her Ricky, from when they knew her as a boy.
She stood by while they figured out what to do with her.
Eventually, they propped Claudia against a wall and two teams, working in pairs, set in on her.
The female officers went first, patting her down from the waist up with gloved hands, latex against the skin.
They toyed with her bra, tilting it to see if drugs fell out. They felt from the waist down, holding firm hands to her inner thighs and grazing against her penis for contraband.
Claudia’s trips used to be routine, practically second nature, but she stopped going around 2000, when the killings picked up.