This is bullshit:
His arrest is just one of a number of improbable arrests that officers from the Manhattan South Vice Enforcement Squad made in Blue Door Video this year and in at least one other city porn shop in the past three years.
Blue Door was closed in June under the city nuisance abatement law after vice cops made ten prostitution arrests there in January and February. The criminal complaints in those arrests were filed as part of that lawsuit. In every case, it was police who first mentioned money.
Two men were a couple, one was 36 and the other was 43, who gave a Central Park West hotel as their address and appeared to be out-of-town visitors. The couple, the police alleged, agreed to be paid $20 each to have anal sex with an undercover cop.
Russell Novack, a senior staff attorney with Legal Aid who handles thousands of prostitution cases each year, said he has seen European gay men prosecuted for prostitution in Blue Door.
"I really don't think that European tourists are coming down to the Bowery to be prostitutes," Novack said. "The police send undercovers in there to solicit guys."
Another man, apparently a 19-year-old college student, traveled from Virginia to earn $40 to perform oral sex, if police are to be believed. Another man was 53 and traveled to Blue Door from California, though police records do not say what his fee was.
Like Pinter, all ten pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Their records will be sealed by mid-2010, so it will be as if the arrests never happened. Pleading to that lesser charge is the cheapest and fastest way to make the case disappear.
And the police get away with entrapping gay men.
While a large part of the queer community is focused on legal rights, the police continue to abuse the law just to fuck with us.
This isn't acceptable behavior. And there's nothing elected officials can/will do to fight this, since any disciplinary action against the police will have to come through the same biased enforcement mechanisms (judges or in-house police department disciplinary committees) that haven't done anything about this already.
But we've come to accept a certain amount of abuse-of-power and fudging the rules from police as long as it's not directed against activity those in power deem valuable.
We still have a long ways to go.