The judge in Palm Springs has ruled that charges won't be dismissed against the men arrested in a gay cruising sting (the sting involved officers arranging a deal with prosecutors to ensure the men arrested would be put on a sex offender registry and making homophobic remarks, while ignoring public straight sex completely). Their authority was question, so of course the police have to whine even when they won:
The hearings also reinforced what many in the valley, including Palm Springs Police Officer Association President William Hutchinson, have warned about Warm Sands for months: "There are no winners in this situation."[...]
"Nobody won here. It's a shame that this is the way it turned out," said Sgt. Bryan Anderson, who spent much of his testimony clarifying his own "unprofessional" comments on tape. "People should have had our back, but never said anything."
Boo hoo hoo! It's so terrible when your arrests are upheld in court even though they were shady and your plan to get gays on the sex offender registry works, but people don't worship you afterwards.
The police do have a point, though, that this didn't go down the way they expected it to: the arrestees weren't supposed to exercise their due process rights; instead they were supposed to sign a confession, shut up, and hope it doesn't ruin their professional and personal lives.
Instead, a tape came out showing the police chief calling the men who cruised for gay sex a "bunch of filthy mother fuckers" and another officer made a joke about "cocksuckers," there was controversy and the chief resigned. It's reasonable to assume there was other language being used that wasn't caught on tape, since police officers to know their conduct is being recorded in police vehicles, so this is just some more whining:
"Somehow the Warm Sands arrests became totally distorted and an inappropriate comment was singled out as proof of department-wide discrimination," said Officer William Hutchinson, president of the Palm Springs Police Officers Association. "Voices of reason, years of cooperation with the LGBT community and decorated police service became casualties in this unnecessarily divisive affair."
Well, maybe there are folks in the "LGBT community" who think that all that "cooperation" was done with a yawn before the officer went back and told his frat bros that he had to go meet with the cocksuckers.
We honestly don't know what they're saying when no one's recording it, but what we do know is that the police department, for whatever reason, decided that a sting operation, instead of better lighting and uniformed officer visits to the area, was an appropriate way to address the problem. That sort of disproportionate response doesn't just come from no where, especially when public straight sex goes ignored:
Their testimony further revealed that Palm Springs police officers, despite saying they also had witnessed straight sex in public, have never arrested a man and woman for having sex in public -- or held a sting to curb straight sex in public -- where prostitution was not involved.
The officers probably watch for a while before telling straight people to move along. But what about getting female officers to try to tempt straight guys to take out their cocks behind a nightclub? Something tells me they could get a few arrests that way and get some straight dudes on the sex offender registry.
The other positive that came out of this story is that the sting operation was shut down. And even the judge questioned why the police had a sting operation for nonviolent behavior:
But Downing also questioned the wisdom of the sting.
The men arrested in the sting "were not a threat to society," Downing said, adding that the police resources arguably could have been better spent pursuing violent criminals.
It's just a bad idea to have a bunch of homophobes on a hair trigger secretly armed to the teeth with no real accountability for their bad behavior going into an area where men cruise. In New Jersey that resulted in someone's death. There's just no reason to have stings like these that put people at risk of violence, that ruin people's lives, and do little to nothing to curtail public sex.
But since the police feel like they lost this one it just goes to show that men arrested in these stings should exercise their due process rights each time. Just by making a stink, even if they lose, the men can show that there is a cost to these actions to the police department.