Of course, the headline has all the appeal of a tantalizing catch to get you all interested in this story. But I have to admit, this is really a disturbing story from a defense attorney perspective. Seriously, don’t these officers have anything better to do than arrest people for doing nothing wrong? I think the cops involved just wanted to see their cohort topless in the park. This really ticks me off!
According to an ABC story ran late last December,
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 [the officers] … (Source)
I can appreciate the police’s efforts to thwart crime. According to the article,
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. From early 2006 to the spring of 2007, there were 160 citations for public indecency in the city, according to an investigation by 10TV News. (Source)
But what has the world come to when we have to trick people into committing crimes? I cannot possibly imagine that this firefighter had any predisposition to show this naked female his penis until she asked.
And what’s even more outrageous about this is that it’s not only happening in Ohio like this case, it’s happening in New York. Apparently, “in New York City, nearly 300 people, many of whom had no criminal record, have been snared this year through the NYPD’s Operation Lucky Bag, in which undercover officers leave a wallet, iPod or cell phone in a subway station and wait to see who picks it up.”
Now give me a little time, as I am in the process of preparing a jury trial where entrapment will be used as a defense. Once that’s all said and done, I’ll have a little more time to dedicate to educating you all on entrapment.