Showing posts with label Cops Gone Wild. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cops Gone Wild. Show all posts

July 18, 2018

Cop Leaned Over Urinal At Grand Central and Took a Look a Man's Genital and Busted Him



                                                                                                                             👀 👮
 Men's Room at Grand Central (built 1934)

 
A man who was busted by an MTA police officer while using a urinal in Grand Central Terminal in April 2017 has sued, claiming false arrest. (Susan Watts / New York Daily News)


A Harlem man claims an MTA cop “leaned over and looked at” his genitals at a urinal – before arresting him on bogus allegations of indecent exposure, new court papers allege. 

William Campbell was using the restroom at Grand Central Terminal about 10:40 p.m. on April 17, 2017, when a “man using the urinal next to petitioner leaned over and looked at petitioner's penis,” he claimed in Manhattan Supreme Court papers filed late Friday. Campbell “pushed the man away,” but the stranger jumped on him and said “What are you doing, you f------g f----t?” his state civil lawsuit alleges.
Campbell said “nothing,” and the man then called him a “dirty h—o,” court papers claim.

The man, who turned out to be a Metropolitan Transportation Authority cop, cuffed Campbell so tightly his “wrists bled.”

The cop then shouted to another officer “another pee-pee case” while leading Campbell out of the restroom, court papers charge.

Campbell was taken to Midtown South Precinct stationhouse and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, exposure of a person and public lewdness.

The criminal complaint “falsely stated that there were children in the restroom at the time petitioner was using the urinal, there were no children in the area; that petitioner unlawfully exposed his penis, he did not, he was using the urinal; and that petitioner was carrying in his backpack a knife with a 10-inch blade, he was not in possession of a knife,” Campbell’s suit says.

Because Campbell couldn’t immediately make the $1,000 bail ordered at his arraignment, he spent 72 hours in lockup. After repeated court appearances, and a trial, Campbell was cleared, he said.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said this case is sealed, so official information on the outcome is not available.
Campbell, who claims he suffered an “unlawful arrest,” is seeking unspecified damages.

Asked for comment, MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said, “We cannot comment on the specifics of this case or any pending litigation. MTA police officers are vital to maintaining a safe environment for Metro-North customers and all who visit Grand Central.”



| NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 

July 12, 2018

Officer Who Stood By While Man Harassed PR Woman Resigned After Being Put on Leave



"The officer should have stepped in, and he should have done something," Pope said. Eileen Figel, the agency's deputy general superintendent, described the video as "disturbing" and said the agency had apologized to Irizarry and refunded the money she spent renting the picnic area.
"No one should feel unsafe while visiting our preserves," Figel said. "The aggressive behavior and racially charged and ignorant comments of the individual are appalling to all of us."
But before Connor's resignation Wednesday, a lawyer for the union representing police officers at the agency reminded people not to pass judgment before the conclusion of the investigation into Connor's conduct, according to the Chicago Tribune.
"I always say this when it comes to video: The video doesn't look good, but anybody who's a football fan knows that the video doesn't tell the entire story," Tamara Cummings, general counsel for the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, said Wednesday. "We don't know what was going on outside the video, and we don't know what was going through the officer's mind."
In the video captured by Irizarry, she is heard explaining to the inebriated man that Puerto Rico is "part of the United States." The man, later identified by police as Timothy G. Trybus, 62, continued hurling insults at her, asking if she was "uneducated."(This incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime by this man's actions)🦊
"You're not going to change us, you know that," Trybus is heard saying to her, adding that "the world is not going to change the United States of America, period."
"I'm not trying to change anyone, I'm just trying to come here for a birthday," Irizarry responds. He asks whether she is an American citizen, to which she responds that she is. "If you're an American citizen, you should not be wearing that shirt in America," Trybus says.
Irizarry is heard asking the man to please get away from her, and begging the nearby officer, Connor, for help. "Officer, I feel highly uncomfortable. Can you please grab him?
"Officer, I paid for a permit for this area," she also says. "I do not feel comfortable with him here. Is there anything you can do?"
Another man, whom Irizarry later identified as her brother, is heard defending her, getting close to Trybus and telling him, "Back up. Don't follow her."
Several minutes later, other police officers arrived to arrest Trybus. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County Police charged Trybus with assault and disorderly conduct, police officials said in a news conference Tuesday.
Irizarry is heard in the video telling a female police officer her account of what happened, and how Connor "literally was just standing there watching the whole thing happen like nothing."
Later, Connor is seen writing in a notebook while Irizarry reports her complaint against Trybus.
"He approached me many times," Irizarry tells Connor. "He continued to follow me, and I even asked you to step in because I felt uncomfortable."
Connor explains to Irizarry that he was initially called to the scene for an unrelated incident between a different couple. "Now that I see what's going on, at no time was he going to attack you. He's just a big mouth," Connor says.
"Well, I guess you just never know," Irizarry responds.
"You never know, you're right," Connor says.
During Tuesday's news conference, police officials clarified that the other officers arrived after Connor called on his radio for assistance.
Luis Arroyo Jr., a Cook County Board Commissioner, said he felt the officer "did not do his duty."
"And I will not accept anything else but this officer's termination," Arroyo said.
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) also decried the incident on Twitter, saying it reflects "a culture of bigotry & hate that's been condoned in the US, which now feels unleashed to express itself in the ugliest & aggressive ways."
"In this case, a US citizen questions the citizenship of another US citizen and American law-enforcement just sits back and watches," he said. "Whether they are racists at a park, Cook County employees who do nothing, or Presidents who toss paper towels at people and denigrate Latinos w/ every Tweet, this is not the America we want to become & standing up to hate & bigotry must start at home."
He was referring, of course, to President Trump's visit to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in October, in which he tossed rolls of paper towels into the crowd as if they were basketballs.
Gutiérrez went as far as to write a letter to the acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice to ask for an investigation into what happened to Irizarry.
"I understand this incident on a gut level because almost exactly the same thing happened to me when I was a freshman in Congress," Gutiérrez wrote in the letter. "I was denied entry into the Capitol complex by U.S. Capitol Police despite being a Congressman with identification because my daughter was carrying a Puerto Rican flag and the officer doubted that I could possibly be a Member of Congress."
Speaking on CNN on Tuesday, Rosello, the Puerto Rican governor, said he was "appalled and disgusted" by the video. "It's an issue of education, it's an issue of civil rights and it's an issue of basic human dignity.
"Puerto Ricans have been part of the United States," Rosello reminded viewers. "We've been fighting wars with other fellow Americans. We are proud U.S. citizens. People need to understand that."  

| WASHINGTON POST |

November 18, 2017

A Sheriff Went Wild Over F..K Trump Sticker on Woman's Truck by {Jailing Her}





FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas a woman who donned a "F--k Trump" sticker on her truck was released from jail Thursday night, a day after a local sheriff threatened to press charges against her for the display.
Mike Fonseca said his wife, Karen, was picked up Thursday afternoon for an outstanding warrant from August. He posted her bond Thursday night, and she was released from jail about an hour later.
Records show Karen Fonseca is accused of fraud. The Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office said they made the arrest after getting a tip about the warrant. 
Karen Fonseca made headlines Wednesday after Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls threatened to arrest her for the anti-Trump sticker on her pickup. Records show Karen Fonseca is accused of fraud.
The sticker says “F--k Trump and f--k  you for voting for him.” 
Nehls posted a photo of the truck on Facebook Wednesday: "I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you," the post read. "Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it."
After the story went viral and thousands of commenters defended the sticker as free speech, Nehls deleted the post.
“The objective of the post was to find the owner/driver of the truck and have a conversation with them in order to prevent a potential altercation between the truck driver and those offended by the message. Since the owner of the truck has been identified, the Sheriff took down the post,” a Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said Thursday. 
The Fort Bend County District Attorney said his office had no plans to file charges over the sticker.
“It’s hard to believe that a simple sticker could cause so much arousal,” Fonseca said Thursday before her arrest. "I have no regrets."
She and her husband have had the sticker for nearly a year.
"I'm almost certain it does have to do with this," said Karen Fonseca after her release. "People abuse the badge, and in my opinion, money talks. When you're in politics, people know how to work the system."
Marcelino Benito, Jason Miles and staff, KHOU-TV, Houston-USA Today


September 2, 2017

Nurse Arrested for Refusing to Draw Blood from Unconscious Patient in Utah



 Salt Lake City police have apologized after an officer handcuffed a hospital nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient. 
 Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the agency initiated an internal investigation within hours of the 26 July encounter between Detective Jeff Payne and the University of Utah Hospital burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels that was caught on the officer’s body camera.
Payne is suspended from blood-draw duties but remains in his role as a detective in the investigations unit. 
Judd said the assistant police chief had apologized to the hospital and that the department was alarmed by the video. The department was working to investigate what went wrong and seeking to repair an “unfortunate rift”, Judd said. 
Wubbels showed videos of her arrest at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City to a news conference on Thursday. Her first duty was to her patients, she said.
The footage shows Wubbels dressed in blue medical scrubs and consulting colleagues for several minutes before presenting waiting officers with a printout of the hospital’s policy on sharing blood samples to test for alcohol or drugs.
She tells the officers that under the policy, which she says was agreed with the Salt Lake City police department, she would need a warrant or the patient’s consent, or the patient would need to be under arrest.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all,” Wubbels says, noting that the officers are meeting none of the criteria. A hospital supervisor, speaking through Wubbels’ cellphone, tells the officers they are “making a huge mistake” in threatening a nurse.
Payne becomes angered and grabs at Wubbels.
“We’re done,” he says. “You’re under arrest.“
He then drags Wubbels outside as she screams.
“Somebody helps me!” she says as Payne handcuffs her hands behind her. “You’re assaulting me! Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong.”
The patient was a truck driver who arrived at the hospital comatose after being badly burned in a crash with a vehicle driven by someone fleeing police, the Deseret News reported.
Karra Porter, Wubbels’ lawyer, said the nurse followed the law and the police were wrong. 
The University of Utah issued a statement saying it supported Wubbels “and her decision to focus first and foremost on the care and well-being of her patient”. The hospital said it had created a new policy with police that would preclude officers from arriving at patient care units in person for blood.
Judd, the police spokeswoman, said: “We want to know where something went wrong, what we didn’t know, and why we didn’t know it.”
The agency has met with hospital administration to ensure it does not happen again and to repair their relationship, Judd said, adding: “There’s a strong bond between fire, police, and nurses because they all work together to help save lives, and this caused an unfortunate rift that we are hoping to repair immediately.”
Porter said Payne left Wubbels in a hot police car for 20 minutes before realizing that blood had already been drawn as part of treatment. Wubbels was not booked or charged. 
“This has upended her worldview in a way,” Porter said. “She just couldn’t believe this could happen.”

July 10, 2017

Two Rulings on Taping Cops and Taping Slaughter Houses and Disposables








I'll first start with the Appellate Court of the U.S. in regards to video taping police while they carry out their duties. They ruled this past week it is lawful for anyone to tape with a camera or phone the police in that situation. Nest time you are taping a cop doing something unreasonable in your opinion, just stay out of the way,  tape and if prompted you can tell the officer that the Appellate Court has rule that this is legal. If they ask you to stop regardless it will be up to you to step back, stop taping or follow the law which will probably get you arrested. If they arrest you comply and as soon as you come out head to the lawyer's office.

If you are taping from your window, do it quietly unless someone is being beat up and don't be intimidated. By the way this is not meant to be law advice but citizen's advice and you are responsible to make your own decisions and get legal advice from a lawyer. I am just telling you what I have seen from other people in that situation and passing on that advice.

Recently people have been chased out and in a few cases arrested in Utah where they grow pigs and chicken. Pigs are grown in vast quatities for slaughter. What happens to all that feces and urine?
The article below will tell you what the court ruled this week:

George Frey/Getty Images


A federal judge has ruled Utah's ban on secretly filming farm and slaughterhouse operations is unconstitutional, striking down what critics call an "ag-gag" law that Utah enacted in 2012.
The ban violates the First Amendment's free-speech protections, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby said.
Shelby rejected the state's defense of the law, saying Utah had failed to show the ban was intended to ensure the safety of animals and farm workers from disease or injury.
In his ruling, Shelby noted that one of the bill's sponsors in the state legislature, Rep. John Mathis, said the ban was a response to "a trend nationally of some propaganda groups ... with a stated objective of undoing animal agriculture in the United States." The judge noted that another sponsor, Sen. David Hinkins said it targeted "vegetarian people that [are] trying to kill the animal industry."
A farmer who supported the ban had said he and his colleagues "don't want some jack wagon coming in taking a picture of them," according to the court's citation of state records.



The challenge to Utah ban was filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and Amy Meyer, the director of the Utah Animal Rights Coalition. Meyer was arrested in 2013 while she filmed workers using heavy machinery to move a sick cow at a slaughterhouse in Draper City. At the time, Meyer was on public property; the charges against her were later dismissed.
"I was shocked when I was the one charged with a crime instead of that animal's abusers," Meyer said after the court ruled in her favor Friday. "It should never be a crime to tell the story of an animal who is being abused and killed, even if it's for food."
After acknowledging the importance of the agricultural industry in the U.S. — and the government's longtime interest in supporting the industry — Shelby wrote:
"Utah undoubtedly has an interest in addressing perceived threats to the state agricultural industry, and as history shows, it has a variety of constitutionally permissible tools at its disposal to do so. Suppressing broad swaths of protected speech without justification, however, is not one of them."
It's the second time a federal court has overturned a ban on filming at farms: In 2015, a district court judge ruled that Idaho's "ag-gag" law was unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause.
The Idaho case — Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Wasden — is currently pending in the Ninth Circuit, after Idaho filed an appeal.
Since the 1990s, at least 16 states have adopted "ag-gag" laws, from Kansas, Montana, and North Dakota to Iowa and North Carolina.

June 28, 2017

NYPD Inspector Who Went Wild Pepper Spraying Protesters on Wall St


The scene of women in pain after being pepper-sprayed on 12th Street near University Place after a march from the Occupy Wall Street encampment in lower Manhattan. (JEFFERSON SIEGEL)

We follow this story closely in 2011 and covered how outraged NYC and the Country were outraged watching a Police Inspector act worse than a rookie cop lost on his first demonstration. Hopefully, this is the last we hear from this dude, so we wanted to show you that his real punishment was to be transferred to Staten Island.
Maybe this most have been when Staten Island had the Garbage Dump at Fresh Kills so he must've been right at home. At a time when cops are getting off after killing young black is interesting to know that nothing really happens to this cop even though his victims were white and their injuries were permanent. The city took the tax payers money and paid those victims but again the man in charge of this got a few days vacation clipped and moving to Staten Island.
If you got to "Cops Gone Wild" label and check on 2011 you can see our coverage. Any problems with those pages please let us know and we will take care of them.
 Anthony Bologna, the NYPD Deputy Inspector known as the "pepper spray cop" from a YouTube video released on Sept. 27, 2011, has retired from the force. (CJGRAPSKI VIA YOUTUBE)

An NYPD deputy inspector who rose to infamy after he pepper-sprayed women for no apparent reason during Occupy Wall Street has retired with a full pension.
Anthony Bologna — whose inexplicable action got him dubbed Tony Baloney in a legendary “Daily Show” skit — called it a career after 35 years on the job.
Fellow cops will fete Bologna on July 11 at a Lower Manhattan restaurant in Battery Park, near the Zuccotti Park home base of OWS. The restaurant features $28 pasta bolognese, and tickets are $75 for the event.
“I think it’s just a little disappointing that he was never really penalized for pepper spraying me,” said Kelly Schomburg, 24 of Boston, who was 18 when Bologna sprayed her. “It absolutely felt swept under the rug.” 
Bologna, 63, rose to infamy on Sept. 24, 2011, when he used the spray on protestors, most of them women, at an OWS gathering near Union Square.
Videos of Bologna approaching the group and blasting them with pepper spray went viral and helped galvanize the movement that had begun just days earlier.
Cops corralled Schomburg and the others behind orange netting when Bologna abruptly began spraying them. The city settled at least seven subsequent lawsuits to the tune of $382,501. 
Bologna lost 10 vacation days after the incident. In October 2011, he was transferred to Staten Island. He retired in April. The transfer was portrayed as disciplinary but it actually cut Bologna’s commuting time. Some thought Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance should have brought charges against him.
“He goes to Staten Island, where he has less of a commute and retires with a huge pension,” said lawyer Ron Kuby, who represented some of the women Bologna sprayed.
“Right now instead of retiring, he should be getting off probation.” Kuby said the treatment of Bologna is part of a Vance pattern of coddling cops.
“The DA allows and encourages police officers to engage in misconduct,” he said. “This cop lost his temper because a bunch of women didn’t do what he told them to do. I hope DA Vance is invited to the party. He certainly earned his invite.”
Added Schomburg’s lawyer Debra Greenburger, “It's deeply troubling that he has never been held accountable .”
Joan Vollero, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, sent the Daily News a list of 20 cops the office has either indicted or convicted.
"This Office has a clear track record of prosecuting official misconduct cases involving on-duty officers and other uniformed employees, including correctional personnel," she said. Within the NYPD, Bologna has his supporters. Roy Richter, head of the Captains Endowment Association, said the cop had a distinguished run.
“Late in his career, he became well-known for all of the wrong reasons, but overall he served the NYPD honorably and he had a very successful career,” Richter said. “He’s leaving on his terms with his head held high and he’s looking forward to a happy retirement.”
In the “Daily Show” sketch, actor Christopher Meloni lampoons Bologna as a macho nut who carries multiple canisters of pepper spray and then goes rogue after he is suspended and sprays random people on a city street.
Schomburg moved back to Boston and is in now in college for women’s studies.
“It was a really upsetting period of my life,” she said. “I was swept up in a storm. It’s not something I look back on fondly.”
Bologna joined the NYPD in 1982 and spent much of his career assigned to the First Precinct in Lower Manhattan and the Manhattan South Task Force.
Richter said Bologna reached the department’s mandatory retirement age.

New York Daily News

June 18, 2017

NY Gay Officers League to Honor The Twerk Sexy Cop, A Hetero Cop Never Looked So Good!



A video will be showcased of the NYPD cop dancing during gay pride parade in New York City

  





It was the twerk seen round the world — a 12-second video clip of a straight NYPD cop dancing with a Pride Parade reveler that quickly became a shining example of the department’s ever-improving relationship with the city’s LGBT community. 

This Wednesday, that video will take center stage as the NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League posthumously honors the cop in that clip who recently died of a 9/11 related cancer.
Police Officer Michael Hance’s family will be in attendance when GOAL acknowledges the fallen cop with their Ally Award for his impromptu dance as he stood a post during the city’s 2015 Pride Parade.
The award will be given out at the 2017 NYPD Pride Celebration at 1 Police Plaza. “People look at what he did and say, ‘OK it’s a (short) clip’ — but that video was viewed nearly 10 million times,” said GOAL president Brian Downey. 

The NYPD’s Gay Officers Action League will honor the late Police Officer Michael Hance who recently died of a 9/11 related cancer.

  (DAVID WEXLER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“We’re so appreciative of the attention that was drawn by this one act of kindness.”
Hance died of 9/11 related cancer in March. 
The 44-year-old cop, who worked out of the 111th Precinct station house in Bayside, Queens, was diagnosed with brain cancer in November after he fell in front of his home and complained of feeling dizzy, family members said.As he fought the disease, the cancer spread to his lungs, liver and chest.

 The heterosexual Hance lifted the city’s spirits two years ago when a cell phone video that showed him dancing, on duty and in uniform, with reveler Aaron Santis at the Manhattan Pride Parade went viral.
Santis was marching with the Big Apple Softball League, an LGBT sports group, when he started dancing in front of Hance. The Queens cop quickly joined in and began grooving to the Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop’ Til You Get Enough.”
He then turned and started twerking while Santis was grinding behind him.
Downey hopes the award will bring attention to the fact that people are still dying under the shadow cast by the 9/11 terror attacks.
“People are still getting sick,” Downey said. “The attacks didn’t care about your sexual orientation, or race. They didn’t care if you were a cop or a firefighter. It was just pure evil.”
Hance, a resident of Bethpage, L.I., left behind daughters Kaitlyn, 12, and Jenna, 10. 
At the time of his death, family members shrugged off all the attention the video had brought Hance, claiming that the hero cop — who was honored in 2005 for saving an infant who choked on a Lego — was a people person who liked a good party.
Attempts to reach Hance’s family were unsuccessful Saturday.
Other honorees receiving awards on Wednesday include NYPD Deputy Commissioner Cathleen Perez, who will also receive GOAL’s Ally Award and Andy Cohen, star of Bravo TV's “Watch What Happens Live,” who will be the event’s keynote speaker and receive the group’s Visibility Award.”


THOMAS TRACY

June 9, 2017

Sheriff's Office Out of Control in Toilets at Volusia County, Florida




 Tittle, editorial, leading pic by adamfoxie
Can you believe that in the 21st century you would have plain clothes cops patrolling toilets in any part of this country? Florida, a state that was known as a backward state for its intolerance, some crazy laws and uneducated "crackers" would want to get that tittle again after so many communities have made strides in changing the attitudes of badly educated cops of what it takes to protect a community. There are drug pushers, theft, shootings, traffic enforcement, school safety and anti gang programs to enforce. Going into a men's bathroom and to wait to be proposed or proposing another man in an enclosed public toilet makes no sense. 

After getting some men of the community (which are usually married but closeted) to bite on the vice penis show and then proudly released their names to the media tells you is not the activity they are after but the men because of what they are. They are not liked because of sex...we have been in that toilet before and it smells. After all, the activity does not hurt anyone and we do not need cops to enforce sex laws, this is for Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan to do these things. Even then they don't use cops but religion enforcers. Is that what this ignorant sheriff is? Who cares if in a public toilet some guy makes an "eye' pass at another? Believe me if the other party is not interested the looking party is going to know in no uncertain way they screwed big time! 

I don't agree with this activity but I respect the privacy of these men and since they are not harming anyone, I stand by their civil rights. These are guys the sheriff knows are unlikely to ask for a trial with a jury of their peers. They are too shame for that. If they would ask for a jury trial very quickly the county would see how much it costs in dollars and sense but the truth is the men would probably plea down and be fined. The cops take advantage of that fact. They can make easy money, shame the sinners, make headlines they keep an eye on the toilets, etc. Meanwhile lives and families are destroyed for the married men.

To both the Sheriff and the men, grow up already!

News as reported by media:

A four-day sting operation at several parks in Florida’s Volusia County resulted in the arrest of 17 men for lewd activity and one for battery. But some, including LGBTQ civil rights group Lambda Legal, are raising concerns over how police and local media have handled the arrests. 
In a released statement on the sting, which was dubbed “Operation Park Hopper,” the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said their actions came in response to complaints about lewd activity in local parks. 
The information released by police also included the first and last names of the arrested men, their ages, their home addresses, a video of one man’s arrest and an account of a 75-year-old man’s interaction with an undercover deputy. 

Image: Volusia County's Operation Park Hopper

Volusia County's Operation Park Hopper Volusia County Sheriff's Office / via Facebook

“Evidently, [the man] thought he was safe because he was on the east side of the county, in Ormond Beach,” the statement said of the 75-year-old. “He was wrong. Moments after he walked to a picnic shelter at the park with the stranger, pulled out his penis and started masturbating in plain view, [he] found himself in handcuffs and on the way to jail—charged with indecent exposure and committing an unnatural and lascivious act.” 
The statement then elaborated upon the arrests, saying the men would “approach undercover deputies, strike up a conversation, steer the talk to sex and then start doing more than just talking about it.” 
An indecent exposure conviction is considered a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida and punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $1,000 or both. A conviction of an “unnatural and lascivious act” is considered a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 
While discussing the circumstances surrounding the Operation Park Hopper arrests laid out in the statement, Lambda Legal Director of Constitutional Litigation Susan Sommer told NBC Out “entrapment is definitely a law enforcement tool used against gay men.” 
“You’d need more information on the setup and the circumstances in this particular instance, but it’s completely common to learn that law enforcement have entrapped men into alleged violations of sexual misconduct laws,” Sommer explained. 
She pointed to a sting operation in New York that she said had “eerie similarities” to the Volusia County arrests. 
“They round up gay men and then do this really horrendous public shaming where they print their mug shots and their names and their ages and the towns where they live,” Sommer said. “And they use the same kind of rhetoric that I saw quoted [in the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office statement].” 
Sommer also pointed out that publishing the names, mug shots and addresses of men arrested in sting operations like these can have dire consequences. 
“Men have employers who suddenly suspend or fire them, places where they live try to drum them out, news cameras and vans are staked outside their homes and they’re shunned,” Sommer said. “It causes people to be suicidal. It far exceeds any kind of police response to any other alleged nuisance activity.” 
“The government can certainly outlaw public sex, but it must take care to enforce such bans within constitutional limits,” said Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a gay journalist who has written on gay sex stings in the past. “When law enforcement officers target gay men for no apparent reason other than their sexual orientation, they run the risk of running afoul of basic equal protection principles.” 
Stern pointed to a previous case in Long Beach, Calif., where a court threw out the conviction of a gay man who had been arrested for cruising, because it was ruled that the police department had acted on unconstitutional “animus toward homosexuals.” 
“Put simply, it is not at all clear that the Volusia County Sheriff remained within constitutional boundaries in his zeal to arrest, imprison and humiliate these men,” Stern added. 
Most of the men arrested in Operation Park Hopper were middle-aged or older, which Sommer speculated could be indicative of generational differences between older and younger gay men. 
“Older men were more closeted, because they grew up and came of age in an era that was even more oppressive, when sodomy laws were still enforced,” she said. “This wasn’t a community that could be open or flourish in the light of day. There were no gathering places, so men would have to find each other in these kinds of venues. The internet and Facebook and apps have made it much easier for people who are tapped into that to meet each other.” 
After being provided with an information packet by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, several local news outlets published the names, home addresses, arrest locations and mug shots of the 18 men charged in the sting operation. One of the men can be seen crying in his photo. 
“Because of the significance of the operation and the number of arrests, the decision was made to announce the results at a news conference,” Gary Davidson, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office, told NBC Out via email. “When we have a news conference, we always compile an information packet for the media with all of the relevant information.” 
Davidson also pointed out that the information his department provided to the media, including the defendants’ home addresses, is a matter of public record and contained in the charging affidavits. He said his office compiled and distributed the information “for the convenience of media outlets covering the news conference.” 
Sommer said media outlets ought to exercise caution before publishing personal and possibly sensitive information. 
“I think the media needs to act responsibly and not publish pictures and names and not participate in something that could fuel vigilante behavior,” Sommer said. “The harm you could do to someone’s life far outweighs any public interest or value in doing so.” 
During the Operation Park Hopper news conference, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said the arrests were meant to send a message. 
“These types of activities impact the quality of life of our citizens,” he said. “It’s important that we set the tone that our parks and trails are safe for families and children.
by 

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