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NY police will no longer target gay men in public bathrooms


New York’s Port Authority Police Department will end its practice of sending plainclothes officers into public bathrooms to catch people propositioning others for sex. These so-called public lewdness patrols have long been criticized by activists claiming that they target gay men.

The decision came as part of a settlement earlier this month resolving a lawsuit brought by two men who were arrested as a result of such patrols. Critics of the practice claim that these types of stings targeted men who were perceived to be gay by officers in an effort to inflate their arrest statistics.

As part of the settlement, new recruits to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department will also receive LGBTQ sensitivity training for the next three years.

The lawsuit named Cornell Holden and Miguel Mejia, who were both charged with public lewdness. Both claimed they were falsely accused by officers of masturbating while standing at urinals in Port Authority Bus Terminal restrooms. Holden and Mejia were cleared of all charges according to the Associated Press.

“This kind of blatant homophobia has no place in policing, and the reforms achieved in this lawsuit aim to safeguard against future abuses like the ones experienced and challenged […]

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