Undercover LA cops ‘enticed’ gay men into public sex and then arrested them
A judge has ruled that a police department discriminated against gay men by ensnaring them in a sex sting.
The case came about in 2014, over the arrest of gay Long Beach resident Rory Moroney for lewd conduct and indecent exposure.
Mr Moroney was in public toilets when a man approached him, sending ‘flirtatious signals’ suggesting the pair should hook up.
However, when Mr Moroney exposed himself, the man identified himself as an undercover vice cop and arrested Mr Moroney for indecent exposure.
Superior Court Judge Halim Dhanidina invalidated the arrest this week, finding that the Long Beach police’s tactics were “tantamount to discrimination” and “indicative of animus toward homosexuals”.
The judge noted that only male officers were involved in the sting operations and only men were arrested, showing that the operation was intentionally targeted just at gay men.
He added: “The presence and tactics of the decoy officers actually caused the crimes to occur.”
According to the LA Times, Mr Moroney sobbed as the arrest was thrown out, later telling reporters: “It was really hard to come out and be the voice, but I had to do it because I believe that Long Beach is discriminating against gay men.
The Long Beach Police Department said it would “evaluate” how it responds to lewd conduct complaints in future – but denied the clampdown was” biased policing”.
Last week San Francisco Police Department was shamed as a cache of texts sent by officers showed racism and homophobia within the force.
As part of an investigation, the SF Public Defenders office released a series of text messages exchanged by three police officers in 2014 and 2015 – which show a number of homophobic messages as well as racist ones. Officers mocked “fags” and “trannys” they had encountered.