Crime | New Jersey

Gay Sex Sting Operation In Newark Park Is Suspended

Last month, Andy posted about the death of DeFarra Gaymon, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Newark, NJ during a crackdown of cruising at a park in the city. Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura tells the New Jersey Star-Ledger that the five-year sting operation in the park has been suspended:

6a00d8341c730253ef0133f270e896970b-800wi "We’ve temporarily suspended the undercover operation there, but we're increasing uniformed patrol at Branch Brook. It's on hold for now. We're looking to tweak it and make some adjustments."

New Jersey's largest LGBT organization is getting involved in the incident and past arrests in the park.

Garden State Equality, the state’s leading gay rights advocacy group, has now asked for documents related to previous lewdness arrests made at Branch Brook Park since 2005, saying any operation "targeting gay men or LGBT people specifically, or anyone perceived as such, is unconscionable — and as we strongly believe, illegal."

Legal experts said though police cannot go after a specific group on the basis of gender or sexual orientation, neither can a defendant use that as a shield against committing a crime.

Joel Caplan, a Rutgers Law School professor, said both sides have legitimate concerns. "If a police department has jurisdiction in a particular area, it has a right to enforce the law," he said. "If a bunch of young kids are playing loud music at night, police aren’t targeting the juveniles, they’re targeting the activity. But it also raises the question, why (is the sheriff) choosing to enforce that and not something else?"

As noted earlier, the prosecutor on the case claims that "Mr. Gaymon reached into his pocket and lunged at the officer in an attempt to disarm the officer. The officer shot him after "fearing for his life." The victim's family is now saying that that is complete nonsense. They claim that Gaymon would have never reacted violently and the police officer is lying in order to protect himself. They are also requesting that the FBI investigate the incident.

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Comments

  1. You get the same results by having uniformed officers in the area. Of course, you won't get the arrests.

    Posted by: Bruce in Tampa | Aug 1, 2010 3:50:23 PM


  2. One question -- was the cop white? If so, nothing will happen to him. If not, he MIGHT get a reprimand.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Aug 1, 2010 4:34:47 PM


  3. how many gay men do you know who would attack an armed cop??

    Posted by: rick | Aug 1, 2010 5:21:28 PM


  4. How many police officers have been killed by suspects who are being arrested for lewd conduct in the park? I'm willing to say that such cases are nonexistent. Even if this "officer" acted in response to what he believed to be imminent danger of severe bodily injury or death", I believe that it could be shown that his "fear" was unreasonable and so he acted unreasonably. He should be prosecuted, and the jury should decide. From what I've read, I'd say the officer involved should spend a few years behind bars --- of course this presumes that our society values the life of a closeted black man -- prominent in his world -- as much as anyone else's life. I say unlikely.

    I hope towleroad will continue to cover this story.

    Posted by: Chad | Aug 1, 2010 6:11:04 PM


  5. The closet kills...gaymon.

    Let's see...the types of gaymon that have sex in public are as follows.

    1. Closeted trolls.

    2. Self loathing damaged goods.

    3. Older gay men who grew up evading the authorities to get their rocks off...and who defend it now as a byproduct of internalized homophobia.

    4. Homeless.

    That about cover it?

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 1, 2010 8:13:08 PM


  6. @Kyle:

    Sources indicate that the officer in question is Hispanic, not white, and is currently on medical leave.

    Posted by: DR | Aug 1, 2010 9:07:17 PM


  7. Garden State Equality would help gays in Newark by confronting homophobia and gay bashing versus whining about the police force protecting the park from pervs having sex in public. I went to college in Newark, homophobic is rampant among the locals. I love the city but the locals are most definitely hostile to gays.

    Posted by: James | Aug 1, 2010 9:34:46 PM


  8. If after five years of a sting operation the behavior hasn't stopped, the police need a completely different strategy.

    A park I was "familiar" with in my hometown was patroled regularly, but all sexual activity stopped when the parks department cleared the underbrush, thinned out the trees, and exposed the trails. That was nearly 30 years ago, so it's hardly a new idea.

    There is no civil right to have sex in a public park.

    Posted by: jpeckjr | Aug 1, 2010 11:21:19 PM


  9. Tank, Do you honestly have a life, let alone a job? You're on Towleroad 24/7 DAMN FAG....Get a clue and a fucking life while you're at it!

    The mind of an idiot fag kills...TANK

    Posted by: RED DEVIL | Aug 2, 2010 2:05:14 AM


  10. The uncle toms that keep hammering on the legalities of outdoor sex must bear in mind that in over 70 countries in the world just for existing homosexuals are on the wrong side of the law.
    Here in Amsterdam in the spring we recant the magic chant: "Hey hey, it's may, outdoor fucking starts today."

    Posted by: philippe landman | Aug 2, 2010 6:06:23 AM


  11. These sting operations are a big $$ maker for the city, and a holdover from an earlier era. They could just as easily order people to leave with warnings.

    Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2010 12:50:20 PM


  12. Well...if thel cop is Hispanic, then he might get a reprimand, people are so down on Latinos, these days.

    Posted by: kyle Sullivan | Aug 2, 2010 2:51:54 PM


  13. The haterosexual police are targeting gay men. When will a gay person start suing these police departments? The haterosexual police are doing these anti-gay sting operations to boost morale and to give these gay men criminal records so it's hard for them to find jobs.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 2, 2010 3:06:24 PM


  14. Isn't murder based on sexual orientation a hate crime? This detective should receive a lethal injection, quickly, before he does more harm. Personally I am confident that the world would be a better place if this officer is officially executed.

    Posted by: Death penalty | Sep 27, 2010 9:52:10 AM


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