Lawsuit accuses port authority of unlawful arrests of gay men
A lawsuit has been filed against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey alleging that police have unlawfully arrested gay men.
The class action lawsuit was filed on Monday, reports the Associated Press.
It alleges that police officers with the Port Authority discriminate against men perceived to be gay through false arrests.
The lawsuit claims that police officers patrol the bus station bathrooms, attempt to gain the interest of men perceived as gay or bi and then charge them with lewd conduct.
It goes on to claim that the arrests are made to boost statistics around quality of life arrest.
“The PAPD have continued to make such targeted arrests knowing or believing that most of those arrested will ultimately be forced to plead to lesser charges to avoid public embarrassment and humiliation, costly legal fees, and jail sentences, as well as reputational and professional harm associated with the false charges,” the lawsuit reads.
It was filed on behalf of plaintiffs by Winston and Strawn LLP and the Legal Aid Society.
Compensatory and punitive damages are sought under the lawsuit as well as a stop to the alleged practice of the officers.
“The use of police assets and resources in this unconstitutional and unconscionable way is particularly stunning in light of the world in which we live,” said Thomas Patrick Lane, partner with Winston & Strawn.
The Port Authority has not yet commented on the lawsuit.