Just because Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez resigned his post — following a pseudo-acknowledgment that called gays “cocksuckers” and “filthy motherfuckers” while engaged in a public sex sting — doesn’t mean the fun from the 2009 Warm Springs operation is over! Police officers have been taking the stand this week during a case brought by some of the men arrested, who claim they were entrapped by police and unfairly targeted them because of their sexual orientation. And while the court room has not (yet?) seen videotaped footage from the arrests, the testimony alone is titillating.
Taking the stand, the officers involved in the sting have been insisting they did nothing wrong, The Deseret Sun reports:
Palm Springs police decoys in the 2009 Warm Sands gay sex sting said they did not entice those arrested to expose themselves, as court hearings on whether to drop the charges continued Tuesday in Indio. “I pretty much just stood there. People would walk up to us,” Palm Springs officer Chad Nordman testified. He did say “show me what you’ve got” to those arrested — but only after they approached him first, Nordman added.
Indio-based public attorney Roger Tansey said videotaped footage of the arrests, which hasn’t been made public, contradicts the decoys’ testimony. Even if the decoys were coy, another policeman, Sgt. Matt Beard, testified he simulated a sex act by himself behind a pool filter while providing undercover security for the decoys. Beard said he wasn’t instructed to do that, but he aimed to mimic “what was going on around me” and “dispel any suspicion that I was an undercover officer.”
So what about claims the entire operation was anti-gay from the start? Plaintiffs say that bias is evidenced not only by cops refusing to go after straight folks engaged in public sex (like at a parking garage they received reports about), but also by the word choice of the officers involved, notes KPSP.
The defense continued to grill Lt. Dennis Graham who testified all day on Friday. For the first time he identified the officer who used a gay slur during the June 2009 operation. That officer, Sgt. Bryan Anderson also investigated the Warm Sands neighborhood before the arrests and organized the four day sex sting. Graham testified Friday Sgt. Anderson used the slur while quoting a movie, calling it an “icebreaker” to help break tension among officers. Sgt. Anderson is scheduled to take the stand Wednesday.
Attorneys for the men arrested in the sting say police displayed a discriminatory attitude against gays. They say PSPD had received complaints of indecent exposure and lewd conduct by straight couples at a public parking garage and Knott’s Soak City but did not make arrests or conduct an undercover sting. “The Palm Springs Police Department has for years given men and women special rights in Palm Springs to have sex in public,” said Deputy Public Defender Roger Tansey. “They have never, ever – there is not one case – of a man and a woman being arrested for having sex in a car or some other public place.”
In addition, the defense points out that no one – gay or straight – had been arrested in the Warm Sands area for indecent exposure or lewd conduct during the two years that lead up to this sting. They say that’s because public sex wasn’t really a problem and, therefore, the police officers discriminated against the gay community in that neighborhood by performing a sting.
The fun continues today, with more coppers swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about their anti-gay sex sting.