Baton Rouge has been steadily growing over the last 25 years. Even though the Gret Stet has had a slew of Governors who claim to hate guvmint, the Red Stick population explosion is largely due to, well, state guvmint. The local constabulary, however, remain mired in a more pastoral, rednecky past and have never quite adjusted to the reality that BR is an urban area.Here’s the latest example:
An undercover East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy was staking out Manchac Park about 10 a.m. one day this month when a slow-moving sedan pulling into the parking lot caught his attention. The deputy parked alongside the 65-year-old driver and, after denying being a cop, began a casual conversation that was electronically monitored by a backup team nearby.
As the two men moved their chat to a picnic table, the deputy propositioned his target with “some drinks and some fun” back at his place, later inquiring whether the man had any condoms, according to court records. After following the deputy to a nearby apartment, the man was handcuffed and booked into Parish Prison on a single count of attempted crime against nature.
There had been no sex-for-money deal between the two. The men did not agree to have sex in the park, a public place. And the count against the man was based on a part of Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court a decade ago.
The July 18 arrest is among at least a dozen cases since 2011 in which a Sheriff’s Office task force used the unenforceable law to ensnare men who merely discussed or agreed to have consensual sex with an undercover agent, an investigation by The Advocate has found.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office refused to prosecute each one of the cases because his assistants found no crime had occurred. After inquiries from the newspaper last week, he arranged to meet with Sheriff’s Office investigators to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court ruling.
The Sherriff’s office calls this policing, I call it gay bashing, especially since it involves an unconstitutional, outmoded law that only Ken Cuccinelli could love.
I hear the sound of law suits being filed. That will at least give Governor PBJ the chance to spout platitudes denouncing “trial lawyers” on his next foray to Iowa. Hmm, I wonder if he and Steve King are planning a cantalope party?