The sheriff ‘s office of East Baton Rouge has addressed all those anti-gay sting operations it undertook against at least a dozen men since 2011, claiming that it was for the public good before realizing that made them sound like the cast of Deliverance. Once it put away the banjo and the petroleum jelly, the office finally apologized, stating that it will no longer use the unconstitutional law to entrap any more lonely gay dudes.
The sheriff’s office had originally posted a rather smug reply to the bad publicity it had been receiving since news broke of the sting operation on its Facebook, only to take it down once metro councilman John Delgado read them the rights of private citizens. ThinkProgress, however, quoted the statement before it disappeared from the interwebs forever:
The Sheriff’s Office has not, nor will it ever, set out with the intent to target or embarrass any part of our law-abiding community. Our goal is to Protect and Serve the public. When we receive calls from the public about lewd activity near our children, we have to respond. Our park operations, conducted at the specific request of the BREC Park’s Ranger, were an attempt to deter or stop lewd activity occurring in the park near children. The deputies in the cases were acting in good faith using a statute that was still on the books of the Louisiana criminal code. [...]
We want to reiterate our intent in these cases. It was NEVER to target a certain segment of our population. It was only in response to parents, park officials and members of the public concerned that our parks were not safe. When we receive reports of public masturbation, sex and other lewd activity in a park where children are playing, me MUST take these concerns seriously. Our intent was honorable, our approach, however, is something we must evaluate and change. The Sheriff’s Office is not concerned with what consenting adults do in private residences. We are concerned with what is going on in public, especially a public place frequented by children.
John Delgado was NOT having any of this. Delgado took the office to task, demanding an apology to the men who were arrested and calling the sheriff’s office out for using children as a pawn in their game of anti-sodomy chess.