Saturday, December 29, 2007

Get it out: No put it away

I came across this story on ABC by accident and was quite shocked by how some police spend their time upping their arrest rate.

"Robin Garrison, an off-duty 42-year-old firefighter, was walking in Berliner Park in Columbus, Ohio, in May when he saw a woman sunbathing topless under a tree. He approached her and they started talking and getting comfortable, the woman smiling and resting her foot on his shoulder at one point. Eventually, she asked to see Garrison's penis; he unzipped his pants and complied.

"Seconds later, undercover police officers pulled up in a van and arrested Garrison ; he was later charged with public indecency, a misdemeanor, based on video footage taken by cops who were targeting men having sex or masturbating in the park [you can see the video at the link]...

"Law enforcement officials say that such sting operations are an extremely effective means of lowering crime rates and stopping the criminally minded before they commit worse offenses... But such operations veer dangerously close to entrapment, say lawyers, civil libertarians and defendants who've been caught in sting operations.

"At Garrison's trial, his attorney argued that it was a case of entrapment. "Columbus police utilized this topless woman to snare this man," said Sam Shamansky. "He sees her day after day. He's not some seedy pervert."

"The argument failed to sway a Franklin County Municipal Court jury that found Garrison guilty of public indecency last month. He was ordered to stay away from the park, placed on a year's probation and fined $250. Currently, Garrison remains on paid desk duty while the fire department conducts an internal investigation into his behavior..."
Now I'm opposed to nakedness under any circumstances - let alone public places - but it's astonishing that this man should be fined, put on probation, ordered to stay out of the park and could potentially be dismissed from his job for this.

He sees a woman who he regularly bumps into in the park. They clearly get on, he finds her attractive. She flirts with him and is semi naked. Then she asks to peek at his little something. Stupidly he complies, forgetting what he learned in Sunday school. Bang. He's a pervert with a criminal record. Life ruined.

Whilst he may have technically broken the law the definition of entrapment is that the police encourage someone to break a law they would never normally break. There is no indication that this man is a flasher, just susceptible to friendly naked women who pretend to fancy him. Surely there must be something more worthwhile these cops could be doing.

P.S. Did you see the size of those cops by the way? Holy Mother you wouldn't want that coming at you whilst unzipped.

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