Michael Crawford

Man Commits Suicide After Tennessee Park Sex Sting

Filed By Michael Crawford | October 08, 2007 10:05 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: LGBT, Tennessee

A 55 year old man committed suicide less than 24 hours after his name and photo were made public by police after a sting in a Tennessee park lead to the arrests of 40 men. The arrests were part of a two week sting that Johnson City Police Chief says is just the beginning. The Johnson City Press published the names, addresses and photos of the men who were charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. The men arrested ranged in age from 26-85.

Johnson City Police Chief John Lowry says:

Our parks are for family use. People should not be exposed to this while they are out there with their family or trying to enjoy the walking trails. They are not built nor maintained for sexual activity, be it homosexual activity or heterosexual activity.

While Chief Lowry mentions both homosexual and heterosexual activity, the recent sting conducted by his police department targeted specifically men looking for sex with other men. Other recent stings and the drama surrounding Fort Lauderdale mayor Jim Naugle and his crusade for robo-toilets have also targeted only men seeking sex with other men.

Is this new wave of sex panic and police entrapment the result of the intense media scrutiny following the arrests of Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho and Republican State Senator Bob Allen of Florida?

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I've never understood why newspapers feel it's necessary to always print names and addresses for guys arrested in the parks. Don't they usually wait until after they've been convicted for other crimes?

This is so terribly heartbreaking that I don't even know how to finish the day. This wasn't suicide, it was murder.

I hope somebody in Tennessee is going to do something about this. Maybe these people?