Georgia Town’s Police Chief Apologizes, Somewhat, For Putting Sex Arrests On Blast
East Point (Georgia) Police Department made an official statement and a quasi apology for putting suspects who were arrested for public sex—in a public park—on social media.
Chief Shawn Buchanan said the department believes in “fairness and quality for all” and that the East Point police “will never engage in any practice that condones harm or discrimination based on race, sex, religion or national origin.”
On Oct. 4, the law enforcement agency responded to the criticism it had received for posting on Facebook the mugshots and names of several individuals who were charged with “Public Indecency and Loitering for Prohibited Behavior,” The Neighborhood Talk posted.
There was chatter and speculation around the suspects’ sexual orientation among social media users.
“They realized that they were exposing people. These men probably aren’t even ‘OUT,’” read one comment.
“The people outed them by speculating.. Like they said “The Police” didn’t mention any sexual orientation,” read another.
“Cruising- When a man goes to known public areas men mess around with each other. Typically ‘DL’ men uses these places to get their 🥜 with no strings attached to lessen the likelihood of leaving a paper trail,” a third Instagrammer commented.
In his letter, Buchanan wrote that the department was not targeting any specific “group of people,” and re-emphasized that breaking East Point City law is an equal opportunity offense “regardless of race, creed, color, religion, and/or any other affiliation.” He also addressed the wave of sex acts in East Point’s Skye Park was the catalyst for the police agency taking the incident to social media.
“We are faced with a serious problem in the park…,” the police chief said. “We have a community that is being terrorized by the illicit actions all times of the day by selected individuals.”
The original Facebook posts that exposed the suspects have since been taken down. However, Buchanan defended the practice of making arrests public record stating it’s “not news,” and mentioned that other police departments do the same.