Plaintiffs Say San Jose PD’s Sex Sting Operations Targeted LGBT
Five gay men are accusing the San Jose Police Department of targeting them in sex sting operations because of their sexual orientation back in 2014 and 2015. The plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit that seeks $1 million in damages.
Daniel Bufano, one of the plaintiffs, claims in the suit that an undercover police officer asked him to engage in oral sex in the bathroom. When Bufano declined, two other undercover officers allegedly forcibly searched him. They berated him for being gay, according to the suit, told him he was a terrible person, and warned him against returning the the park. He says he was then arrested for loitering around a toilet.
John Ferguson, another plaintiff, says he was arrested while trying to leave the bathroom after flirting with an undercover cop. Ferguson tried leaving the bathroom because he did not want “to engage in sexual conduct” there, according to the suit, but the officer allegedly blocked him from leaving. Another officer then appeared and arrested him.
Charges against the men were dismissed last year by a judge who ruled that the officers’ actions were discriminatory. The San Jose Police Department says it discontinued the operations after that ruling.
Read more about the lawsuit at the Daily Beast.