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Targeted Arrests
Prompt Outrage, Protests in NYC

Targeted Arrests
Prompt Outrage, Protests in NYC

Protesters are planning to gather in front of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's residence in response to a series of arrests targeting gay men.

Protesters are planning to gather in front of New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's residence in response to a series of arrests targeting gay men.

A group calling itself the Coalition to Stop the Arrests says there has been an epidemic of false arrests of gay men because they were solicited by undercover police masquerading as prostitutes. The Gay City News reports that at least 27 men were arrested for prostitution in eight porn shops in Manhattan in 2008. Since 2004 there have been 52 such arrests in eight difference businesses.

According to a statement by the group, the arrest is usually set up so that an attractive younger officer is sent out to approach middle-aged gay men. The officer allegedly entices the man to have sex. If the man agrees, the undercover officer says he wanted to pay the man for sexual favors, and then, before the man can accept or reject the transaction, he is surrounded by police to make an arrest.

Linda Poust Lopez is legally representing five men who were arrested in fall 2008 at Unicorn DVD in Chelsea. "Generally, these are people who are not working as prostitutes and even when they are confronted by the undercover they may be intending to have sex, but not take any money," Lopez told the News.

The rally is scheduled to take place on Saturday at 17 E. 79th St. from noon to 1 p.m., according to Towleroad.com (Advocate.com)

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