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Cop Who Raided Palm Springs Public Park Referred to Cruiser As a ‘Cocksucker,’ Get It?!

When Palm Springs police officers conducted a sweep of the Warm Sands public park last summer, they didn’t just pick up 24 alleged cruisers. They also netted themselves a lovely controversy where undercover cops are recorded calling their soon-to-be suspects “cocksuckers.”

It’s got Police Chief David Dominguez (pictured) launching an internal investigation of at least one officer’s behavior, which was caught on videotape and made public Monday during pre-trial hearings for several of the arrested men. On the tape, the other officer in the car can be overheard laughing at the remark because, haha, COCKSUCKERS! WE’RE GONNA GET ‘EM!

Dominguez’s office released a statement reading, “The Palm Springs Police Department has reviewed videotapes made during the undercover operation and determined that an inappropriate comment was made. [The comment] in no way reflects the policy of the Palm Springs Police Department.”

Of course that’s not the only controversy surrounding the public park sweep: A supposed “backroom” deal between the police and the district attorney to get the cruisers registered as sex offenders has the public defender’s office and gay advocates outraged. Under the misdemeanor charges each of the 24 men face, convictions would force them into a police-only database of sex offenders.

By:           John Rogers
On:           Jun 16, 2010
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 17 Comments
    • Thunderpuss
      Thunderpuss

      I’m on the fence. If you go around in public places sucking cock or having your cock sucked and you get busted – your bad. Gay or straight – that’s illegal. (And you should have been paying better attention.)

      One may argue that some men must utilize alternative means of finding gratifying sexual encounters due to social, family, and even economic pressure. To that I say, “BATHHOUSE”. If no bathhouse is available there are places and means where such exchanges can take place outside of public view. Palm Springs is famous for its Gay “Clothing Optional” resorts.

      On the other hand, registering them as “sex offenders” is a classic throwback to 1950s era gay raids. Police would arrest men in gay bars photographing them and publish their names in the newspaper so that the gay men could experience the full force of social reproach. Personally, I think “sex offender” status should be reserved for pedophiles and rapists.

      As far as calling the suspects “cocksuckers” – well…it’s hard to fight about that one…

      Jun 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yet Another
      Yet Another

      Grasping at straws. The cops will be “diciplined” but it wont make a bit of different to the cruisers. Anyone caught in the act will be guilty whether the cops were innapropriate or not.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      At first glance, there’s not much to see here. These guys were caught breaking the law, and as for calling them “cocksuckers”, well, if the shoe fits…

      At second glance, one has to have very serious concerns about entrapment. Is there really any evidence that these men would have engaged in sex in public — rather than merely meeting someone in public for sex in private — if it weren’t for these cops? When you start asking that, the “cocksuckers” remark is more problematic. Does it indicate an animus on the part of police? Are police having female officers attempt to solicit hetero males for public sex?

      If these sweeps are motivated by an animosity towards gay people, then the police’s objectivity is called into question, and the likelihood that their actions rise to the level of entrapment increases. And that’s a problem, because entrapment absolves the accused of any criminal liability.

      Here’s hoping their fag-baiting comes back to bite these cops on the ass.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ewe
      ewe

      It is quite obvious they are profiling gay men and ignoring any sex between straight people. They said it themselves that they are going after cocksuckers. Never has there ever been any straight pigs to my knowledge who referred to women as cocksuckers. Sluts yes but not cocksuckers. This is an outrage. They ALL should be fired. It is blatant discrimination and homophobia coupled with abusive authority.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • gilber
      gilber

      I’m sure these poor promiscuous pigs wouldn’t think twice getting on their knees and extract vaginal secretions with their mouth the lesbian way.heterosexuals deserve pity after all,especially the homophobic ones,pseudo-homosexuality might be fun but corrupts like hell.these is what happens when they clean their ass with the psycho-physical version and fabricate, and empower the social one,but let them ,let them “bind and absorb” all they want.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmi
      Jimmi

      I don’t condone public “cock sucking” as it were but it seems like these cops wish they could be on their knees offering oral favors.

      Of course, most of the “cock suckees” are married men in the closet seeking oral favors from either somewhat openly non-married gay men or other married gay men. In any circumstance, there are bath houses and other places which for a small fee provide a place to go.

      In these days of Amber Alerts and other such hysteria–it behooves the boys to go indoors and play there. Better yet, come out.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TiredOldQueen@Queerty
      TiredOldQueen@Queerty

      One of my loveliest friends ever said “As for sex, I prefer it Al Fresco.”

      And why not? What’s wrong with “Sex in the great outdoors?”

      Just because its a “public” park doesn’t mean anything is happening in public. These stings no doubt involve locating people actively, regardless of the remoteness of the location.

      All you unhappy sexually screwed up commenters can shove it, as far as I’m concerned.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • merkin
      merkin

      Ah yes, if we’re not down with public sex then we have some kind of major hangup. If only there were some Web sites where gay guys could find each other and fuck in private to their hearts content.

      Cops should be professional at all times, but calling a suspect a “cocksucker” is not the main issue here. The issue is that there are pathetic men, mostly married I imagine, who think they can take over a public space and make it inhospitable for the rest of us. I want to be able to adopt children and get married. I dont want to walk through the park and step on used condoms. And I dont want people thinking all gay men are pathetic sex addicts who rut around in forests like pigs looking for truffles. Somehow, through the grace of God, I can manage to get my rocks off in a room with four walls and a door! Is that such a hard concession to make??

      As for this being some anti-gay double standard, straight people don’t have fuck in public en masse. A single couple may have sex in public, but there aren’t straight cruising grounds that straight people loiter around.

      Stop acting like the cruisers are the victims here and own up to our responsiblity to be respectful members of society.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slobone
      slobone

      If only I could tell you how many gay men’s lives have been ruined by these raids, which have been going on for decades. The whole thing makes me sick.

      I personally knew one man who killed himself. And incidentally, he was not a closeted married man. He was openly gay and living with a lover. He succumbed to temptation one day, and lost his job because of the publicity.

      It’s not unusual for cops to get some kind of kick out of this sort of thing. They seem to make it a priority even when other crimes would seem to be more pressing.

      I’m disappointed Palm Springs, of all places, can’t be more gay-positive. Other police departments have found ways to handle this admitted nuisance, with more discretion and more sensitivity to the realities of the gay community.

      Jun 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)
      DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

      @Dave:

      Legal entrapment is nothing like you’ve described. Legal entrapment is not met where an officer approaches someone for sex and he agrees. It’s a weak excused used by guys cruising public parks who get busted and don’t want to be held accountable. Proving that someone is NOT predisposed to public sex acts when one is caught in a public park known for being a palce where public sex acts takes place is going to kill any entrapment defense.

      However, the Public Defender’s Office has a valid point here…If the police are targeting specific groups of people and the police are trying to make back door deals with the District Attorney, I think we’re going to see some serious fallout like we did in the NYC bookstore case.

      And for the record, yes, the police send out female vice officers to solicit straight men. That’s why the courts are filled with prostitution cases.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 8:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Too many gay men think they can breach standards of public decency. They hide behind the “gay” banner, their behavior reflecting an assumption that somehow they are special and can go about their lives in ways that are clearly on a different level to the norm. Public park cruising is one such example.

      As I’ve said many times before, being gay doesn’t mean anything goes. You need to abide by the same rules as everybody else.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • stevenelliot
      stevenelliot

      I have seen these guyz hanging around warm sands. It seems to me that most are staying in the many gay hotels clustered in that area because they tend to loiter at the entrances of them. It also occured to me that that the majority of the men appeared to have met someone online and were merely waiting for their “hookup” to arrive to go off to a private place.

      On the other hand, so what if its a cruisy area. If you’ve never been to Warm Sands it may sound to you like some sort of park. Its not. Its a neighborhood. And I’ll bet that its 99% gay male. Its a few curving streets with lots of private clothing optional hotels. With a few gay apartment blocks and gay owned houses in between.

      For the police to target this area in particular is fishy to me. Either the gay hotel owners want the biz off the streets and the day pass money in their pockets, or the police are being blatantly discriminatory. OR both.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • El Brucio
      El Brucio

      @jason: You say gay people need to abide by the same rules as everyone else. But what happens when the rules are enforced differently depending on whether you are straight or gay?

      I’m not familiar with the area in this report, but based on where I live, I’ve seen plenty of straight people having sex in public and it doesn’t get nearly the same level of attention from the government.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      If the sex is happening in a remote section where no one is going to come across them then WTF is the problem with everyone? It’s obvious the police are zoning in on gay men which, I thought, was illegal (as if that ever stopped them from harassing gay men) but I highly doubt anyone is just going to happen upon these men having sex unless they were out looking for it.

      People seem to forget the line of what’s ‘indecent’ is drawn by many people around every aspect of being a homosexual. Public sex is a turn on for some and if it’s not invading anyone else’s personal space then MYOFB.

      Jun 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yet Another
      Yet Another

      @Michael:

      lol, no deal, brother. And trust me, I want to agree. But if its public property the public gets to decide what goes on there. Period.

      Jun 18, 2010 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Evan
      Evan

      I don’t get the whole “being in a place known for public sex invalidates your defense” angle. Maybe I’m just oblivious, but I literally have no fucking clue where the places “known for public sex” are in my city, because…well, I’m not into public sex. For all I know, there are guys cruising behind the bushes in the park where I like to read and study on the weekends. I’m not looking for it, so I don’t know. And if a hot guy came up and hit on me while I was reading, I can’t say “police sex sting” would be the first thing on my mind.

      Jun 19, 2010 at 1:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jack
      Jack

      So the idea seems to be that the PSPD picked this park for this “sting”, because they are targeting gay men….. and they used decoys of somsort (thats what im picking up here.. correct me if im wrong). Ok so cop are targeting one kind of crime….SO WHAT!!! If this was some park in Mission Viejo,or Newport Beach and the crime was for public sex/sex for hire and they picked up 5-10 -20-100 pros and there johns….. who would say anything? Nobody. It is a crime, and ppl would say good job. But because there gay should get the driffent treatment? Palm Springs has like a 50% openly gay population. I am sure that the PSPD has done other kinds of raids in the city that do not “target” the gay population.
      YES, the officers comments were unwarrent/unprofessional. Yes, they should be addressed by the chief, but in according to the rules/regs govening that city… not by the openion of the poeple of the city/state/nation.
      As for tarheting one kind of crime….. Ok lets look at it this way. San Diego (hop, skip and a jump over 74) decides one day to raid… Oh i dont know lets say drug dealers for drugs…. or gun runners for guns…. or old ladys for afgans(take ur pick) , you will find that most if not all(depending on the naborhood) the subjects will be mex/hespanic… OH-NO… the police are targeting mex/hispanic ppl!!!… No, it just so happens that they are the ones that are at this time in this place commiting these crimes. It is that simple.
      So stop crying about Your feelings being hurt by somthing that was not even done to you, and if it was….. well play with fire… you will get burned(or you could just stop having sex in the park and get a room like everybody else).

      Aug 20, 2010 at 2:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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