Saturday, February 14, 2009

Protesting False Arrests in New York City on Valentine's Day: video/pics/texts

A group of men gathered at the corner of 79th Street and Fifth Avenue (a few doors down from Mayor Bloomberg's home) to protest the recently escalating number of false arrests targeting gay men in adult book and video stores. The entrapment involves a young undercover vice squad policeman coming on to an older gay man and eventually offering him money in return for sex. Once the older man is lured from the premises, he is arrested for prostitution.

This is wrong on several levels. There is the absurdity of a hot young guy having to offer cash to an older man. (I won't say it never happens, as I myself have been offered cash for sex even in my dotage, but I think it is extremely rare.) There is the fact that this drama deliberately targets gay men. There is the ridiculousness of using limited police resources to entrap gay men who are doing nobody any harm.

Surely the mayor can put a stop to this. Surely a leader as enlightened as Michael Bloomberg can prevail upon his own police department to stop this type of persecution.

Here is the flyer distributed at the rally, and the texts of the two poems written and delivered by the delightful activist George Tynan Crowley. Your click will make them readable.

And here is a photo of the scruffy/sexy JoeMyGod with Little Nick who, when I pointed out the owner of the now defunct sex club El Mirage, wondered if I had ever been to the nightclub El Morocco. Sheesh Nicklet, I'm not that old.

And here are two raw videos showing the delightful George Tynan Crowley reciting his poems and one video of the protestors.

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Blogger NG said...

After seeing Andy Velez in the background doing his thing in your video, all I can think of how gray my hair is and how red his is...

7:36 PM  
Blogger NG said...

I would imagine Andy is touching it just a little... Nah....LOL.

7:39 PM  
Blogger David said...

You're quite the jet-setter. In Ft. Lah-dee-dah Thursday making blogger introductions, and Saturday you're in NYC staking out the Mayor's residence.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Will said...

So, what happens in this sleazy little entrapment scenario if the older gentleman tells the young stud that money isn't necessary, he'll have sex with him quite willingly for free, and let's go?

Does the under cover man abort the encounter before he has a chance to get under the covers? Do they walk out of the bookstore together, causing the older man to get arrested and the young guy then lie about the proposed sex actually being consensual with no cash changing hands?

Above and beyond the basic immorality of the entire entrapment scenario, I see a lot of other ethical issues trailing along behind.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Doralong said...

Will- ethics obviously never, ever entered into this scenario, period.

5:37 PM  
Blogger circleinasquare said...

I've never been to El Morocco either, but I DO have a Stork Club tie with little 1940s microphones on it. Mebbe Nick can wear it to the 50th party.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous ewe said...

one must plead not guilty at arraignment and go through with a trial. If you plea out and plead guilty to a lesser offense, you have essentially let the police off the hook. Enough of letting the police off the hook. I want to know who is pleading not guilty and demanding their day in court. Until then, this is a waste of my time. yes indded a waste of my time because pleading guilty is giving them the police all the probable cause they ever needed. Plus it continues on and on. Let people know what date to show up in court for support of the defendant. We all have the right to observe the "administration of justice." Perhaps not the undercover cops testimony but the rest of it for sure.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous ewe said...

I would also like to know if there is a pattern of same judge and prosecutor handling all the gay stings?

3:35 AM  
Anonymous said...

I think the poem reading was nice. I think the reference to Governor Spitzer ( no arrest) is valid. I never heard of this type of police enforcement before in NYC. And if the police "entrapped" the men why is D.A. Morgenthau silent on this issue, for he has the ability to decline to prosecute and end this matter. I wonder who made complaints to the police to single out this location, as it is common for real estate owners to lodge complaints with the ulterior motive of eviction. ( breach of lease, illegal conduct knowingly taking place in the lessee's establishment.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear NowHoldOn,
Many at the protest rally speculated that the real estate factor was at the root of this.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Bill Samuels said...

I imagine some of the older men are so flattered at being offered money -- I certainly would be-- that either they just agree for a lark or think it's all a joke and say nothing, which is deliberately interpreted as agreement -- then BOOM they get arrested for "prostitution." This is more insane than those silly cops looking for Larry Craig types in rest rooms! That this shit is going on all these years after Stonewall. There aren't more important things for the police to do!

By the way, El Morocco was reopened around the 80's for a brief spell as a disco, so you don't have to be THAT old to have been there. I was there one night for a party for, of all people, Eddie Fisher, who was attempting a comeback. Unfortunately, things didn't work out for either Eddie or El Morroco.

2:27 AM  
Blogger Kurt9M said...

My question is.. What made this cop decide to choose this adult store and target this gay man as his assignment for the day as suppose to protecting New Yorkers against crime that you can see all over NYC? With the economy this bad, who's going to pay the processing of this wasteful matter? And what would the tourist say when they see this? "That they can't even go to the novelty store to get presents/souvenirs in NYC for their friends when the go back? There's the money lost for NYC.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Nelson G. said...

Because there's a market for it, that's why.

And guess who's allowed it to reoccur?

Why the gays of course.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Scott Morgan Lewis said...

Ever since Guiliani, NYC has been so effed up... This kind of thing would never be tolerated in backwaters like Philly and Baltimore. Just goes to show what happens when too many rich Republicans move back in...

10:07 PM  

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