A group called Coalition to Stop the Arrests is planning a weekend protest at the residence of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the city’s upper east side.
Says a statement from the group: “In an overzealous and illegal effort to close down adult video stores in Manhattan, the New York Police Department has been found to be engaging in the false arrests of gay male patrons of these stores, charging them with prostitution. The cops then cite the establishments for condoning illegal activity and the City sues to shut them down as public nuisances. Scores of innocent men have been swept up in these false arrests, documented in the Gay City News. Young undercover cops go up to middle-aged gay men, cruise them, ask for consensual sex, and then offer to pay the older men to have sex with them. Though none of the men agree to the offer, they are then arrested by a gang of undercover cops and put through the system. None of the men have prior arrests. And while only 17% of male prostitutes arrested in NYPD’s Manhattan South district are over 40 years old, 66% of the men arrested at the Blue Door video store are. The legitimacy of these arrests is inconceivable. It also casts doubt on arrests at other targeted stores. These false arrests have been condemned by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Rosie Mendez and State Senator Tom Duane. Mayor Bloomberg must put a stop to these arrests now and bring the rogue cops engaging in these crimes to justice.”
Gay City News reported yesterday “Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau has agreed to meet with community leaders about the false arrests of gay men for prostitution at Manhattan porn stores. Duane said, ‘I told him why it so important to meet and why the community is up in arms about this and he agreed,’ though an exact date has not been set yet.”
The action Saturday, at 17 E. 79th Street, is scheduled to take place from noon to 1 pm.