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Palm Springs: Was Police Department's gay sex sting unfair profiling?

January 12, 2011 | 11:04 am

Critic


A June 2009 gay sex sting by the Palm Springs Police Department netted 19 indecent-exposure arrests. But it has also sparked outrage and debate ever since.

Talk back L.A.The latest chapter involves the resignation of the city's police chief. The Times' Inland Empire bureau chief Phil Willon examined the controversy and how it exposes the unique demographics of the city:

This is Palm Springs, "the gayest city in America," a gay tourist destination governed by an openly gay mayor and home to the sexually charged White Party, a dance and music festival that attracts tens of thousands of gay men every year."The sting was an egregious case of entrapment, a technique that has been used by law enforcement against gay people for decades," said Robert Stone, co-founder of the Warm Sands neighborhood association and one of the most vocal critics of the undercover operation. "Gays move to Palm Springs to get away from that."

Should the police have conducted the sting? Did it amount to profiling? Share your views below.

Photo: Robert Stone, co-founder of the Warm Sands neighborhood association in Palm Springs. Credit: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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