“A typical scenario,” Tansey says, “would be a couple of cops, who were dressed in tank tops, would walk around grabbing their crotches and staring at the defendants’ crotches saying, ‘Show me what you got. Show me what you got.’ In no case did they come upon any man already having sex.” Tansey adds that “in many cases the defendants were reluctant to participate and wanted to go back to a room or someplace more private and were coaxed to stay and allegedly expose themselves by the officers.”
The cop should be arrested for groping himself in public. How is that not masturbation? What if a child saw him playing with his genitals in public? The cops, and whoever authorized the Palm Springs police to masturbate in public, should be fired.
Oh, but there’s more:
Last summer, Palm Springs police used undercover officers to arrest 24 men in a gay neighborhood for allegedly trying to engage the officers in sex. While few in the gay community defend anyone having public sex – whether gay or straight – the anger is over the unusual charges in the case: The men are charged under Section 290(c) of the California Penal Code, making those who are convicted register as sex offenders for life, their names added to a police database.
That charge is essentially a life sentence, defense lawyers say, and has never been used against straight couples arrested for similar activity in Palm Springs.
Adding fuel to the community anger is surveillance tape shot inside a patrol car during the sting. One officer can be heard using an anti-gay slur, while another officer laughs.
And here’s a surprise, straight people arrested in similar cases aren’t charged as lifetime sex offenders.
Discrimination, however, is the basis of the defense’s case, because straight couples arrested in similar cases have never been charged as lifelong sex offenders, says attorney Roger Tansey, who is representing several of the men arrested.
Police Chief David G. Dominguez should be fired.