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Hallucinogens and meth are bad, bad stuff
June 23, 2005 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Nashville cops target gays: Since the fall of 2004, officers at the Hermitage Police Precinct have been quietly conducting a sting operation exclusively targeting gay men. Nobody there denies that.
posted by mrgrimm (40 comments total)

 
holy fucking shit.
posted by hototogisu at 4:20 PM on June 23, 2005


I hope this victim sues the living FUCK of the Nashville PD for wrongful arrest, assault, and damages.
posted by Rothko at 4:27 PM on June 23, 2005


Not to be repetitive, but...holy fucking shit. I gotta get out of here. Any fellas who want to put up a southern gay guy seeking to escape this place, lemme know.

(And just in case there are any Nashville cops reading, I DON'T HAVE ANY POPPERS!)
posted by ChrisTN at 4:28 PM on June 23, 2005


I'm trying to see the problem here. If they were infiltrating hetero swingers chat rooms looking for drug and money swaps for sex, would that also be shocking?

Right now, police all over the country go into online forums to lure all sorts of criminals. However, they are as careful to not create an "entrapment" situation as they are with prostitution busts.

Other groups routinely monitored and lured are teenage groups, both looking for pedophiles and teen drug use; right wing kook groups, looking for violent, anti-government acts; and most definitely Arab, Moslem, and other foreign groups looking for anything interesting.

Courts have decided that you have no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are online. However, soliciting criminal acts online shows a decided lack of common sense. If nothing else, the chat room moderator, if any, should give warning notices not to discuss anything related to the buying and selling of illegal drugs or acts of prostitution. "This site is monitored by the police department, so the management cannot be held responsible if you shoot your mouths off and get busted."
posted by kablam at 4:37 PM on June 23, 2005


Is anyone surprised.

In a totally separate matter, which I mention here only because I'm stupid, I think it's funny how Al Gore's own state wouldn't even vote for him. What a loser. Heh.

On preview, keep trying kablam. <singing>conflict of ideologies
posted by nervousfritz at 4:43 PM on June 23, 2005


Currently, the Hermitage precinct is developing a manual about infiltrating straight chat rooms. For now, though, the lieutenant says, as if heterosexual conduct were actually a part of the counterculture, "we don't have anybody who can take us in there and assimilate us into that subculture."

Ha ha.

kablam:
it's iniquitous because they aren't targetting the general community, just gays. Know what discrimination means?
It's a problem because they hurt a man for possessing a substance as illegal as sugar.

I'm trying to see the problem here.
Your incomprehension and stupidity match that of the Nashville cops. That's nott news though, is it?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:45 PM on June 23, 2005


For now, though, the lieutenant says, "we don't have anybody who can take us in there and assimilate us into that subculture."

I guess we can conclude that all Nashville cops are homosexuals.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:46 PM on June 23, 2005


I thought this post was blown out of proportion, but upon reading (and assuming it is true), holy fucking shit.
posted by Dean Keaton at 4:47 PM on June 23, 2005


"contacting users and seeing if they're interested in exchanging drugs and cash for sex"

That's purely prostitution, gay or not. What's the issue?
posted by mischief at 4:57 PM on June 23, 2005


What Dean Keaton said. This is revolting if it went down as described.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:58 PM on June 23, 2005


That's purely prostitution, gay or not. What's the issue?

Umm....because they're not arresting theses guys for prostitution, but for possession of illegal drugs, of which at least one guy appears to have had none? You know, no issue but that.
posted by ChrisTN at 5:05 PM on June 23, 2005


The confidential informant went so far as to fabricate a racy online profile at gay.com that lured at least some of his targets. It consisted of a series of nude photos... In one photo, the man is playing with himself, while in another his nude body leans over a pool table.

Amusingly, the fascists assholes at Nashville PD will have only the fascist assholes in the Bush administration to thank for bringing a screeching halt to this cute little entrapment scheme. Unintended consequences are a bitch...
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 5:06 PM on June 23, 2005


dash_slot: well, actually, your incomprehension and stupidity are clearly demonstrated by making personal attacks against those you disagree with. Everyone should take your behavior into account in the future.

But enough about you. As far as the subject goes, the two real arguments seem to be selectivity and that a single individual was arrested for possession of what they are unsure is an illegal substance (amyl nitrate).

Selectivity can either be unacceptable, like racial profiling, or acceptable, as in having limited resources. The police in this case at least said they were intending to expand their efforts outside of the gay community. If this is true, then gays should receive no extra protection.

However, the man arrested for a "possible" illegal act should be released immediately. If it is later determined that it is an illegal substance, he would be still prone to arrest, albiet on a minor charge. However, detaining him for any length of time is not acceptable.
posted by kablam at 5:25 PM on June 23, 2005


kablam, did you figure out police procedure on your own?

selectivity as you put it is not the problem. this man (if his story is accurate) should never have been 'busted', never subjected to a bust. isn't that fairly clear?
posted by gorgor_balabala at 5:36 PM on June 23, 2005


"He thought the men who surrounded him were rednecks who got hold of some pricey toys and were looking to kill a gay man. "

I think he was right.
posted by 445supermag at 5:48 PM on June 23, 2005


It's so, cool, you know. How they're not targeting homosexuals, but homosexuals are the exclusive target.

Yeeee-haw!

So convenient a way to be high-minded community protectors and nevertheless just happen to carry the water for the SBC.

Course, down South they's allas bin ree-all good at upholding the law whilst preservin' community mores and keeping uppity subcultures down.

Well, I guess not just down So'th.
posted by orthogonality at 6:06 PM on June 23, 2005


Another thing... I remember a few years back (Clinton era), some Black dentist was pulled over an abnormal number of times on the freeway outside of DC, or, Baltimore, somewhere like that.

Then it came out in the press, that the cops were performing racial profiling. Some people came forward with some dubious statistics about black dudes and their marijuana, or whatever. Most people, it seemed like at the time, didn't agree with that. So racial profiling became a bit of a hot topic. I could kind of feel, at that time, like some law enforcement departments were seething because they felt like they had their hands tied. But, it was a damn dentist in his BMW. Or Audi. Whatever. And most people, I think, at least back then, were like, why do They have to keep finding reasons to pick on people. Because people could look outside their windows and see that there's no black thugs about to break in. The bullshit was starting to evaporate. They didn't let on, but some conservative ideologues (maybe right wing extreme I don't pretend to understand that crowd) must have been really quaking in their boots.

It's like, if you go to Nashville, probably I doubt you would be accosted by drugged out homosexual prostitutes. There used to be the idea of a victimless crime.

But I don't think it's about stopping the drugged out Nashville homosexual prostitutes. That's laughable. Why spend so much resources on a non problem? Nashville is in the middle of a conservative bible belt. The resources they spend on the problem are out of proportion to the fact that if you go to a shopping mall in Nashville, the overwhelming gheist you will encounter is no doubt normalcy.

The thing is is that They would like to introduce such topics as the wrongness of homosexuality and drugs and prostitution into the public mind. They put people in jail, they kill people, and they create wars, for these ideological reasons. They pick scapegoats. No doubt, it's not just republicans who employ such tactics of population control, nor is it exclusive to our American government, nor no doubt will it ever end.

But that doesn't make it less wrong. Policing, jails, weaponry, these things aren't reasonable ways to open and conduct debate. It's like, if your words aren't carrying weight, you lace them with blood? You lace them with 20 years of a man's life, between bars?

Yeah, that'll put some gravity into your words, no doubt, Man.
posted by nervousfritz at 6:09 PM on June 23, 2005


It has for centuries nervousfritz.
posted by Dean Keaton at 7:46 PM on June 23, 2005


"of which at least one guy appears to have had none?"

So he claims. Let's hear the cops' side of the story.
posted by mischief at 8:04 PM on June 23, 2005


What's worse than the overly selective overenforcement is the people who don't see anything wrong with it -- because after all they're only picking on GAY drug users. Don't tell me Metafilter is inordinately overful of hets who've never gotten high, or that nobody ever does deals or sets up parties in "chat rooms" where straights predominate. The means of acquiring and sharing drugs are ubiquitously similar; all that really differs is that the genitalia of those these particular Nashvillians share drugs with differ little from their own. Having walked on both sides of the street, I can tell you you ain't as different as you think you are.

The clue, you see, is "What if it was YOU?" -- which, as Bonhoeffer pointed out, it may very well eventually be. And let me not molest those Christians among you: "as you do unto the least of them...." If you don't have the heart and the guts to stand up for anybody else, don't be surprised when people laugh and point when YOU get it in the neck.

Will you compassionless cowards please remove yourselves from my country? Putin is preparing again a pleasant home for such as you. Then we who remain might finally live up to that line "the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE."

As for you, O kablam, courts have decided you don't have much reasonable expectation of privacy in your own home either. So why don't you hook up webcams with audio in every room and leave them on permanently? It's not like you have anything to hide, right? "Winston Smith, stand in front of the viewscreen!"
posted by davy at 8:15 PM on June 23, 2005


Why the f*ck were all the cops plainclothes????
Obviously the guy who answered the door needed to be undercover, but all of them?
A friend of mine was tackled to the ground and thrown against the wall in a NY subway while he yelled for help... he had no idea they were plainclothes cops. He was later charged with resisting arrest.
In 2000, Patrick Dorismund was shot and killed by undercover cops in 2000 after they went up to him (a complete stranger) and started soliciting drugs (of which he had none).
Most of the time people don't even know undercovers are cops, even if they identify themselves fairly clearly. When you're face down getting you ass kicked, you don't hear so good.
posted by Edible Energy at 8:27 PM on June 23, 2005


I messed up my above link: Patrick Dorismond
posted by Edible Energy at 8:28 PM on June 23, 2005


davy: actually, there is considerable expectation of privacy in ones home. However, chatting on the Internet gives you zero privacy, as much as chatting in a restaurant.

As far as protection from a person chatting in an open forum, they have none. Would any person here publish their real name, address, phone and SS# on this forum? That would almost be nuts. I would hope that everybody here would know better.

But people can do stupid things, and the police are ready to pounce. I am reminded of an officer who had a simple technique for busting drug "dealers". He would go to a noisy party, knock on the door, and ask to buy some drugs. Usually they would say, "Are you a cop?", to which he would reply "Yes", and laugh. Then they would go get him a big baggie of whatever drugs they had, and tell him how much money they wanted for it.

Who the heck can call that entrapment?

The big attraction for either a gay or straight forum is bait-and-switch. The people in the forum are looking for sexual liasons. So they are more than ready to "swap" for drugs or money, or probably a bunch more other stuff, in the hopes of getting a "date". "A movie, dinner and dancing" is just a variation of this. Dropped defenses.

But the bottom line is that in such a situation, people are vulnerable, and easy marks for a police sting. And if police figure they can bust 20 people instead of two or three, they usually go for it.
posted by kablam at 8:38 PM on June 23, 2005


The big attraction for either a gay or straight forum is bait-and-switch.
Bull. And gay.com personals are not forums.
posted by amberglow at 8:59 PM on June 23, 2005


Kablam said
The people in the forum are looking for sexual liasons. So they are more than ready to "swap" for drugs or money, or probably a bunch more other stuff, in the hopes of getting a "date".

Gee, dude. You're in the habit of paying to get laid? How sad. You should try knowing what you're talking about, its very helpful. The I Ching says "Its good to be certain". Sound advice, try it sometime. Gay people don't usually operate that way.

From the article, quoting Eric Snyder, the investigative lieutenant of the Hermitage Police precinct:
"If you're looking at the greater good to society, hallucinogens and meth are bad, bad stuff. Shoplifting, burglary, assaults—you can hinge all these crimes back to drugs.

I appreciate the clear problem with all those gays running around breaking into houses, shoplifting, and robbing innocent people. They're a dangerous bunch! They'll do anything to pay for their cock, err, coke habit.

I feel real sorry for 'Steve', the victim. I hope his "rectangular apology" is a really BIG one. I also hope he'll find a nice guy and settle down, before he catches some nasty disease.

Amyl Nitrate: The article says all kinds of things about this crap, including that it enhances erections. Huh? I never understood its attraction for sex play. Its a rush, but has the opposite affect on me. I can't stand being around the stuff.
posted by Goofyy at 9:01 PM on June 23, 2005


Goofyy: Are you in the habit of walking up to someone and asking them to have sex? Hopefully not. Of course you pay for sex. Everybody pays, one way or another, if in no other way then with their time, courtesy, effort and attention.

Most people want to get to know someone in public social situations, which often requires somebody to pay for something. Is that paying for sex? If that is what they are hoping for at some point, well yes.

Would you buy your date an alcoholic beverage? Aren't social drugs just one step beyond that? And if you decide to have sex, and want to have it in some neutral place like a motel, rather then going to where either of you live, then somebody has to pay for the motel.

Alcohol, drugs, money, food, entertainment, and all the rest are ways to pay for sex. But drugs and money are illegal, so that is where the police enter the situation.

You may chat up a storm with a cop, agreeing to a great evening: pick them up at their place, out to dinner and a movie, hit a nice bar and see what happens. You're all set. And then the cop says, "Say, could you bring some weed?, it puts me in the mood."

For you the marijuana is an afterthought. You have big plans for a great evening, and show up ready to have a great time, only to be busted for drugs.

Yes, it's mean to prey on people like that. But it works.
posted by kablam at 9:32 PM on June 23, 2005


Goofyy: Are you in the habit of walking up to someone and asking them to have sex? Hopefully not. Of course you pay for sex. Everybody pays, one way or another, if in no other way then with their time, courtesy, effort and attention.

Most people want to get to know someone in public social situations, which often requires somebody to pay for something. Is that paying for sex? If that is what they are hoping for at some point, well yes.

Would you buy your date an alcoholic beverage? Aren't social drugs just one step beyond that? And if you decide to have sex, and want to have it in some neutral place like a motel, rather then going to where either of you live, then somebody has to pay for the motel.

Alcohol, drugs, money, food, entertainment, and all the rest are ways to pay for sex. But drugs and money are illegal, so that is where the police enter the situation.

You may chat up a storm with a cop, agreeing to a great evening: pick them up at their place, out to dinner and a movie, hit a nice bar and see what happens. You're all set. And then the cop says, "Say, could you bring some weed?, it puts me in the mood."

For you the marijuana is an afterthought. You have big plans for a great evening, and show up ready to have a great time, only to be busted for drugs.

Yes, it's mean to prey on people like that. But it works.
posted by kablam at 9:32 PM on June 23, 2005


Perhaps, but is it right?
posted by Freen at 10:27 PM on June 23, 2005


So this is the way they control crime in Nashville? What this sort of "enforcement emphasis" usually means is that there is a well-established crime network (frequently with lots of ties to the "legitimate" business community), scads of corrupt cops, shakedowns, "tolerance" policies (which are really the framework for payoffs) and all the rest.

Sounds like they need a grand jury looking into things there. If the cops are so occupied picking low hanging fruit, there's bound to be some shady business going down.

But then it's much easier to run these sort of sting operations to showboat being tough on crime than it is to clean up a crooked city. This whole deal just stinks of dirty cops up and down the organization.

See John Chambliss, On The Take for a searching examination of how crime networks really operate.
posted by warbaby at 10:29 PM on June 23, 2005


I'd like to say I'm surprised by this, but I can't.
Appalled, yes. Surprised, no.
posted by nightchrome at 10:31 PM on June 23, 2005


Kablam: did you read the article? Seriously, did you?

The article didn't mention wether or not the guy actualy said that he would bring drugs. In any event the drugs that he brought were not illegal, Legaly no diffrent then bringing a six-pack of beer or some jack danials or a pack of ciggrettes.

So, lets review what actualy happend. He shows up, sees some random dude and thinks he's about to get Matthew Shepparded. He's so afraid that he takes three taser hits. The police were in plain clothes, so there was no way for him to veryify that they were real police and not just rednecks wanting to beat the shit out of a fag.

They eventualy charge him with resisting arrest.

Is that entrapment? If they asked him to bring the drugs, then maybe, maybe not I don't know I'm not a lawyer. If they didn't ask him to bring the drugs, I mean if they only did this too him because they met in a gay chatroom, then it's not entrapment, it's just a fucking crime.

Goofyy: Are you in the habit of walking up to someone and asking them to have sex? Hopefully not. Of course you pay for sex. Everybody pays, one way or another, if in no other way then with their time, courtesy, effort and attention.

Most people want to get to know someone in public social situations, which often requires somebody to pay for something. Is that paying for sex? If that is what they are hoping for at some point, well yes.


This is a complete red herring. It's percipitated by this, I think.

The big attraction for either a gay or straight forum is bait-and-switch. The people in the forum are looking for sexual liasons. So they are more than ready to "swap" for drugs or money, or probably a bunch more other stuff, in the hopes of getting a "date". "A movie, dinner and dancing" is just a variation of this. Dropped defenses.

Okay, so in your estimation, if I agree to meet someone online, for a date, it's perfictly acceptable for me to be arrested for it as soon as I get there, because it can be assumed that if I wanted to date someone then there is a possibility I might want to give them drugs.

Perhaps you belive that the police should have the right to arrest anyone if they feel like it, just to check them for drugs. Or maybe you belive that it's OK for the police to arrest anyone they please if they feel that there is a higher then average probability that they may be carrying drugs.

Is this what you belive?

Yes, it's mean to prey on people like that. But it works.

Yes, it works because people don't understand the legal rights afforded to them by the US constitution. It always amazes me that, after being informed that "you have the right to remain silent" people don't.

Then it came out in the press, that the cops were performing racial profiling. Some people came forward with some dubious statistics about black dudes and their marijuana, or whatever. Most people, it seemed like at the time, didn't agree with that. So racial profiling became a bit of a hot topic.

White people are more likely to carry drugs on them in their cars. For obvious reasons. A white person stopped by the police and searched for drugs is more likely to actualy have drugs on them then a black person pulled over and searched for drugs. A black person stopped by the police and searched for drugs is more likely to not have them, and be let go then a white person pulled over for drugs.

Again, it should be obvious to anyone why black people are less likely to carry drugs in their cars.
posted by delmoi at 10:59 PM on June 23, 2005


But, if nothing else, this situation does seem like entrapment. The cop contacted this guy, talks with him for 20 minutes, the guy closes the conversation, the cop contacts him again and asks him to come over. So "Steve" does, and gets tasered three times for it.

And they're making a habit of this. Luring gay dudes in and arresting them.

I would love to know how this is helping to reduce Nashville crime or how it's a good use of public funds.
posted by schroedinger at 11:02 PM on June 23, 2005


I am reminded of an officer who had a simple technique for busting drug "dealers". He would go to a noisy party, knock on the door, and ask to buy some drugs. Usually they would say, "Are you a cop?", to which he would reply "Yes"

Myth: undercover cops have to admit that they're cops if you ask them. This story smells.

Making yourself approachable is not entrapment. Suggesting a crime is.
posted by dreamsign at 11:42 PM on June 23, 2005


Arrange for some vice cops to arrest these cops, for soliciting sex, which is what they're doing. Sex for drugs is the same as sex for money, isn't it?
posted by Goofyy at 2:04 AM on June 24, 2005


OK, first, I'd like to say that I have no love for Nashville PD and would have no problem believing that they were going after the gay community specifically for being gay.

That said, I can also believe that they, in this case, were actually targeting drugs (though doing a shitty job at it). Having personal experience with Nashville and "lees than mainstream" lifestyle there, I can tell you that, yes, there are a lot of drugs in the Nashville gay scene. Even for a strait boy like me, the gay bars were always an easy place to find drugs particularly the club drugs and coke (not a user personally, though lived with users there including gay users). If you wanted to conduct a drug sting in Nashville, the gay clubs would be a good place to look.

Again, to sum up, I do think NPD are a bunch of rednecks, but then again the gay scene in Nashville does have a large drug element.

Ah, screw NPD.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:37 AM on June 24, 2005


I never understood its attraction for sex play.

It's a muscle relaxant. It depends what you're doing.

Yes, it's mean to prey on people like that. But it works.

And that's a good thing?

"Are you a cop?", to which he would reply "Yes"

I always thought that was an urban legend.

Ding! Tall tale.

Oops. Missed dreamsign.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 AM on June 24, 2005


My only conclusion: the Nashville police are sick fucks. I also conclude kablam is out-to-lunch: regardless the efficacy of their technique, it isn't right.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:27 AM on June 24, 2005


delmoi and five fresh fish: My point wasn't that it was right. Just that it is common practice.

Good heavens, I have seen so many appalling tales of what most people would call police misconduct, or legal, if downright disgusting tricks and traps, far be it from me to suggest that any of it is okay.

But there is a *lot* of it. Gays are the target this time, African-Americans are the target next time, teenagers, adult businesses and prostitutes, the homeless, etc.

And there is *nothing* special about it, or Nashville for that matter.

Heck, if you check some of the national gay information and news sites, they are *loaded* with examples like Nashville, or police either directly abusing them, or utterly neglecting crimes directed at them.

Oh, and BTW, dreamsign: That cop I mentioned went so far as to actually making one drug buy, not only *after* identifying himself as a cop, BUT WHILE IN POLICE UNIFORM! The guy then tried to sell him over a pound of marijuana.

Don't ever underestimate people's stupidity. Dummies go to police stations to "retrieve their stolen property--drugs", far too often. They show up in court with crack in their pockets. They use serious felonies as "alibis" to misdemeanor crimes. They take knives to gunfights. Etc.

And police always prefer to bust easy cases rather than work to bust serious ones.
posted by kablam at 11:23 AM on June 24, 2005


Er. Okay, so it's common. And the Nashville police remain sick fucks, and it is very, very wrong of them.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:02 PM on June 24, 2005


This is the first I've ever heard of cops doing drug busts that target gays. Mind, when I was last seriously out-and-about in the gay 'scene', drugs weren't a big part of it. That's something that's come on since I settled down.
posted by Goofyy at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2005


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