Palm Springs Police Chief Resigns Over Remarks Made During Sting Targeting Gay Men

Palm Springs Police Chief David Dominguez resigned today over remarks he made during a sting operation targeting gay men in the city's Warm Sands neighborhood in 2009, the Southwest Riverside News Network reports

Dominguez Dominguez came under fire after a June 2009 operation in the Warm Sands neighborhood. The sting, which netted 19 arrests, was done in response to what police said were complaints about drug use, public sex and prostitution in Warm Sands. However, it drew complaints that police were targeting gay men unfairly.

During a pretrial hearing, one defendant said a police officer could be heard using a gay slur on a video recording in an undercover vehicle. An attorney for some of those arrested said Dominguez was in that particular car.

The lawyer lodged a complaint, alleging Dominguez disparaged the arrestees to his officers.

“What a bunch of filthy mother (expletive),” Dominguez allegedly said. “You guys should get paid extra for this.”

As Steve reported last week, "According to court documents, Dominguez used the phrase 'filthy motherf**kers' while another officer involved in the sting was overheard using the slur 'c**ksuckers.'"

Dominguez also apologized last week, but issued this statement today: "“After careful consideration of the events surrounding the Warm Sands undercover operation, I believe this decision is in the best interest of my family, the city and the Police Department."


  1. Brad says

    Good Riddance! Calling anybody an epithet while on duty is unprofessional and if he used a homophobic slur it’s bigoted. I’m glad to see people like this being held accountable.

  2. justme says

    Or maybe you could just, you know, choose not to be a bigot who hunts down gay men while letting straight people who are committing the same crimes go free?

    His resignation is at least a year and a half overdue. But it is very good news for the good guys. Would he have resigned — and would anybody have been demanding it –if this was even only five or ten years ago?

  3. jsb says

    This whole episode was a bad idea to begin with, while I don’t condone the actions of some people while in the Warm Sands area, entrapment and worse by the police department was wrong. The DA was voted out of office, and this whole thing was set up between the police and the DA, good riddance, from someone who lives in Palm Springs!

  4. James in Hollywood says

    What a happy development! Dominguez seemed to overplay his anti-gay hand and it came back to bite him, big time. What a screw up. Goodbye forever, pal…

  5. James in Hollywood says

    I’m also heartened that those who trash gays these days are called on it immediately and have to answer for it. I share JustMe’s speculation that that may not have been the case five or ten years ago. Now public gay bashing can buy someone a world of hurt. That works for me.

  6. ricky says

    Roger – Is the tweaker trash on the state’s payroll — are they being paid to do a job by the taxpayers – are they being paid to show leadership – are they being paid to adhere to a code of conduct and honor – are they being paid to treat all citizens of Palm Springs with dignity and respect – HENCE THE PAYCHECK AND THE GENEROUS BENEFITS — are they going to now retire with a full pension after having clearly NOT performed the job they were paid to do and that they SWORE to do?

    No Roger – Dominguez “retiring” for his stunning incompetence does not require the tweaker trash to do anything – they are not on the taxpayers’ payroll.

    Still, you have cause to rejoice – as evidenced by this event – no doubt the police department will soon engage in another lazy homophobic exercise that targets gay criminals not because they are criminals but because they are gay.

  7. Robert Pinter says

    Adios Jefe! The real issue here is that after an investigation by the city of Palm Springs, these stings are being allowed to continue! This is outrageous! This type of of unconstitutional police action targets, stigmitizes and intimidates the entire LGBT community. In California, a conviction on these trumped up charges results in being listed as a sex offender for life! Happy New Year Palm Springs!

  8. Roger says

    Ricky, I’m not buying your rant; I did not imply I was in favor of inappropriate or incompetent police action.

    The tweakers loitering in Warm Springs ought to go. They are not good for the longterm health of the neighborhood.

  9. Rowan says

    Roger, take a long walk on a shirt bridge.

    Shannon, lol.

    These stings are continuing? And wasn’t the gay mayor trying run fir senate?

    I love how the illusion of NY and LA as these progressive nations, is all so much bull.

  10. Ricky says

    Roger – When you state that if a bigoted, incompetent, unprofessional police officer “has” to go then so ought the tweaker trash – what are you implying?

    Evidently it is not enough for him to be homophobic – and as a leader – morally bankrupt – and derelict in his sworn and highly paid for duty – no, you said if he has to go then so ought the tweaker trash. And why is that – tell us all what the resignation and golden parachute of an incompetent bigoted police officer has to do with gay men suffering from a drug addiction? And we know where he is going – to the nearest bank – laden with taxpayer money for a job he did not do – where are you proposing the tweaker trash go exactly – the desert? Or do you have some kind of camp in mind where homosexuals with a drug problem can be kept – away from the public and such fine citizens as yourself?

    Maybe, if it is not too much trouble — you could take a moment to think about where they have already been before you decide on where they should go.

  11. David B. 2 says

    this is just a lot of response to fear and loathing from the CVB in PS … they fear losing the gay dollar which supports them during economic downturns like the one we are in… trust me this is not about moral right and wrong or anything like politics — it is local economics 101. They still are bigoted assholes and if they had not damaged PS reputation with the gays — this would not be happening. They fear a boycott.

  12. Roger says

    Ricky, what am I implying? Nothing. I am directly stating ‘I dislike tweakers.’ I don’t care where they have been, I don’t enjoy their presence. Where am I proposing the tweaker trash go? Your house, thanks for asking.

  13. ricky says

    Roger – You seem – well, a little stupid – the question was what did the “retiring” of an incompetent law enforcement officer have to do with the tweakers having to go – evidently to you it is not enough for a bigoted, incompetent, highly paid law enforcement officer to be allowed to retire with full-benefits after clearly demonstrating his bigotry and stupidity – to you this should only happen if the “tweaker trash” is also made to go.

    Like the Palm Springs Police Department – you should remember your place and not try to rise above your station in life – it is not up to you to tell another person where to go – or to leave at all – surely this cannot be news.

    As for suggesting my house – since you would not get into my house to do the floors – I am not sure how you could have ever imagined in a million years you had the right to invite anyone else here. Again, you need to remember your place.

    Clearly as evidenced by you and the Palm Springs police – not all trash is also tweaking.

  14. Roger says

    Ricky, your rant has become astonishingly pro-tweaker. Let me be clear, since I am not seeking your agreement you need not reply on my account.

    For the record, I did not say ‘this should *only* happen if the “tweaker trash” is also made to go.’ My original comment was “Fine. If the cop has to go so ought the tweaker trash who loiter in Warm Sands.” Think flippant ‘if’, not a conditional ‘if.’ Were Dominquez to stay, the tweakers still ought to go …. DUH!

    Unknown to me during my early December visit to PS was the summer’s entrapment story but what was surprisingly obvious to me were the tweakers loitering all hours in Warm Sands. Speaking of knowing ones place, Ricky, it’s not SITTING ON my car, Mr. Tweaker, because it was parked in the shade. Move your ass, no backtalk. Yes, that’s what I had to contend with on vacation but not the only experience to inform my opinion of meth users.

    The connection between incompetent police work and Palm Spring’s need for a new police chief is reasonably obvious. However if the employement agreement between SP and Dominguez allow him to ‘retire’ and receive benefits under these circumstances, so be it. Accept it, move on, don’t repeat the mistake write a less costly agreement next time SP, whatever. What I do not accept is the idea I have to welcome, or even tolerate politely, tweakers.

  15. ricky says

    Roger – Let me be clear – since you seem rather stupid – and I assure you there is no need for you to respond.

    Dominguez being allowed to retire when instead – regardless of the contract – he could have easily been fired for cause since his actions blatantly violate the stated mission of the Palm Springs Police Department — is hardly real cause for celebration – and just another brilliant example of bigotry and incompetence being rewarded by taxpayer dollars – this is cause for anger and outrage – period – and has nothing, I repeat, nothing, and once again, nothing to do with the men you seem so troubled by.

    As for my “astonishing” pro-tweaker rant – gathering is not using drugs – sitting on a car is not using drugs — looking for sexual encounters in the outdoors is not using drugs – your pathetic and childish need to label these men as tweaker trash does not change the facts or make them what your limited intellect needs them to be — you do not agree with their choices – yes, by all means let’s have them arrested and be sure to call them tweaker trash – whether they are actually on said drug or not does not really matter to you does it?

    Let’s arrest all gay men who do not live a life you approve of – would that make you happy – would that make you feel special – would that make you feel like a man?

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