Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NYPD accused of making false arrests of gay men at adult video stores

The LGBT community in New York is alleging that police are using a 1977 "nuisance abatement law" in an effort to shut down adult video stores and to criminalize sexual orientation. The abatement law permits the City to sue and close businesses where alleged "criminal activity is demonstrated." The allegations involve the police setting up customers in adult video stores and falsely arresting them for prostitution offences. The scheme is described in the Gotham Gazette article as follows:

"Police are allegedly using handsome young undercover cops to cruise middle-aged gay men, offering to go home with them for consensual sex. As they leave the store together, the cop offers to pay the man for the sex, confusing the victims who can't imagine why the younger man would make such a proposal. Then, as they walk out of the store, the victim, despite never having agreed to any exchange of money, is surrounded by undercover cops, handcuffed and charged with prostitution."

As Christine Quinn, former executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, put it "It's not even entrapment. ... These are false arrests."

The targeting of the gay community in New York and elsewhere in the United States by police continues to be a serious problem as documented by Amnesty International in their report "Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay and Transgender People in the U.S."

Posted by Professor Tanovich

1 comment:

  1. A very disturbing article. I believe there is an even bigger problem in general here in Canada. The solicitation law itself has such a low threshold. In Windsor it seems almost like if you are poor and walking down "the stroll" you could be charged.