Monday, February 2, 2009

NYPD Dishonor Roll

Harrassment? Graft? Certainly not from the NYPD.

The Gotham Gazette follows the allegations that NYPD officers have been arresting middle-aged gay men at sex shops under false pretenses. More than 200 people gathered to discuss the situation at a recent town hall meeting at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center.

Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old gay man who was arrested for prostitution at the Blue Door in the East Village on Oct. 10, spoke at the town hall meeting. He said a young man — a 29-year old undercover cop who, Pinter said, looked even younger — cruised him in the store. He was "charming and persistent, and we agreed to go home for consensual sex, but as we were leaving he said, 'I want to pay you $50 [to have sex].' I didn't respond, but I thought it was strange," Pinter recounted. As the men left the store, Pinter said, a group of men who did not show police identification pushed him against the wall

"I thought I'd been set up by a gang," he said. "I asked them why they were doing this to me. I was totally clueless. They handcuffed me and said, 'Why the f--- do you think we're arresting you — loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'"

Gothamist and the Post both check in with stories on a YouTube release of surveilance camera footage (seen below) that may have several NYPD officers in hot water. The footage, from a November 14, 2007 raid of Beer Goggles, a Staten Island bar, shows officers putting stacks of bills taken from a video poker machine into their pockets. The officers are on record as having confiscated approximately $700. It remains unclear if all of the money in their pockets was accounted for, but that is certainly not an official procedure for storing evidence.

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