US Park Police entrap, arrest Gay men in Malcolm X Park

Climate Strike DC

Friday, September 20, 2019•11:00 AM - 2PM  John Marshall Park and marching to the Capitol Building

For decades Malcolm X Park has been a popular cruising area for Gay men, mostly men of color. Since August 2018, US Park Police have been entrapping and arresting Gay men there, using 1950's style tactics including directly propositioning their targets. This and police raids on Gay bars were the factors that led to the Stonewall Riot, a three day uprising in which NYC's police were soundly defeated. It has the potential to lead at any time to violent confrontations beyond what police expect, as they found to their sorrow on June 28, 1969. The GLBTQ community has refused to tolerate this kind of assault since Stonewall.

Newsweek reports at https://www.newsweek.com/washington-dc-men-arrested-gay-sex-sting-1454582 that Sgt. Eduardo Delgado of the US Park Police cited "public complaints" as the grounds for this entrapment. Well, the majority of "public complaints" about this usually come from residents of upscale condominiums near cruising areas, as was so often the case in fights over P st Beach between Gay men and US Park Police during the 1990's. In 1998, a Park Police offensive against Gay men cruising in P st Beach (Rock Creek Park E side between M st and P st) was defeated by a combination of aggressive counter-law-enforcement patrols in the woods and a campaign to raise property taxes on several high-rise condos from which the woods in question could be seen. The Dupont Circle Citizen's Association (DCCA)was directly served notice of a campaign to encourage the DC government to reasses the market value of the condos in question. The reassesment was to be based on the effect on market value of condos if the police offensive reduced Gay cruising in the woods, which of course was considered "crime," one of the factors influencing the value of any and all real estate. After notice was served on the DCCA, police were not seen in P st Beach trying to arrest Gay men for a year, returning after a DCCA/ANC 2B campaign to close a Gay bar called "Mr P's" ended in failure. Police came back in greater force at that time, sometimes even withn helicopters, disappearing after Sep 11 forced them to double the guard on the big downtown monuments.

This raises the question: who's watching the Mall and protecting tourists while US Park Police are busy harassing and entrapping Gay men miles away in Malcome X Park?

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