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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Depravity is such a moving target

1998:
On September 17, 1998, John Lawrence, a gay 55-year-old medical technologist, was hosting two gay acquaintances, Tyron Garner, age 31, and Robert Eubanks, 40, at his apartment on the outskirts of Houston. Lawrence and Eubanks had been friends for more than 20 years. Garner and Eubanks had a tempestuous on-again off-again romantic relationship since 1990. Lacking transportation home, the couple were preparing to spend the night. Eubanks, who had been drinking heavily, left to purchase a soda from a nearby vending machine. Apparently outraged that Lawrence had been flirting with Garner, he called police and reported "a black male going crazy with a gun" at Lawrence's apartment.
Four Harris County sheriff's deputies responded within minutes and Eubanks pointed them to the apartment. They entered the unlocked apartment toward 11 p.m. with their weapons drawn. In accordance with police procedures, the first to arrive, Joseph Quinn, took the lead both in approaching the scene and later in determining what charges to bring. He later reported seeing Lawrence and Garner having anal sex in the bedroom. A second officer reported seeing them engaged in oral sex, and two others did not report seeing the pair having sex. Lawrence did not acquiesce to the police. Instead he repeatedly challenged the police for entering his home. Quinn had discretionary authority to charge them for a variety of offenses and to determine whether to arrest them. When Quinn considered charging them with having sex in violation of state law, he had to get an Assistant District Attorney to check the statutes to be certain they covered sexual activity inside a residence. He was told that Texas's anti-sodomy statute, the "Homosexual Conduct" law, made it a Class C misdemeanor if someone "engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex". The statute, Chapter 21, Sec. 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code, had been adopted in 1973 when the state revised its criminal code to end its proscription on heterosexual anal and oral intercourse.[16]
Quinn decided to arrest Lawrence and Garner and charge them with having "deviate sex". In the opinion of the author of the most detailed account of the arrests, Quinn's decision was likely driven by Lawrence's verbal assertiveness, along with some combination of Quinn's negative response to homosexuality, the fact that Lawrence was white and Garner was black, and the false gun report.
2015:
In today’s installment of “White Privilege Is Still a Thing,” police in Florida reportedly waited nearly seven whole hours before forcing their way into a trailer to arrest a criminal couple who refused to give up because they wanted to have sex.
According to the Florida Times-Union, police from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene at 9:30pm Wednesday to arrest Ryan Patrick Bautista, a felon wanted on several outstanding warrants, including armed burglary. According to police, Bautista and Leanne Hunn barricaded themselves inside a trailer home and refused to come out. Local outlet News4Jax says cops believe one of the pair likely had a weapon.
Also inside the trailer, according to the Times-Union, was Michael V. Forte, who police were looking for in connection with a fatal shooting on September 8. What’s more, another woman who had been at the trailer to attend a party was reportedly forced to remain inside by Hunn and Bautista. The paper says the couple “dragged her to a back bedroom and held her down.”
At some point, the JSO officers, who had been using their loudspeakers to demand the couple exit, called the duo on the phone. Hunn reportedly told officers she would eventually give up but that “she wanted to have sex with Bautista one last time.” Then she hung up on the cops—who did not shoot their way into the trailer or even immediately force their way in, but instead called out SWAT forces.

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