Detroit Cops End Gay Entrapment Program
August 8, 2001
SUMMARY: Detroit police are ending an entrapment program aimed at gay men,
in which police officers posed as gay and then came on to men in public parks
DETROIT Detroit police are ending an entrapment
program aimed at gay men.
After the Triangle Foundation, a gay rights group, made the practice public
at a meeting with Detroit city council members police were ordered to stop
targeting gay men.
Triangles evidence of the harassment and profiling included cases where
male police decoys had been assigned to pose as gay and told to come-on to men
using parks and public restrooms.
"[Gay and bisexual men] are being ticketed and arrested in their cars
for no other reason than a conversation about sex, a conversation initiated
and carried on by the decoy cops themselves, cops who play gay for the
day," the president of the Triangle Foundation said.
"When a decoy behaves in a way to make the individual think it would
be consensual activity, we no longer will prosecute that individual,"
prosecutor Mike Duggan said.
"Im not going to charge people criminally for what they thought was
a consensual act between adults," said Duggan, who added that such
tactics appeared to unfairly target gays.
"We do not send female officers into sports bars to come on to guys to
see which ones respond and then arrest them. We should not be sending
to do exactly the same thing."
Lorri L. Jean, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task
Force, welcomed the new policy. "Decoys, entrapment, vehicle seizures and
arresting people for private conduct are tactics used to harass and intimidate
gay men," Jean said.
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