The Times-Picayune reported today on two large busts of sex workers under Louisiana's archaic "Crime Against Nature" law. These arrests come just as the Louisiana legislature has passed a bill that would do away with the law, which the US Justice Department has said unfairly targets LGBT individuals, as well as indigent women.
According to the Picayune:
New Orleans' narcotics and vice police units conducted a prostitution sting in Mid-City this month, and arrested nine people over two separate occasions . The New Orleans Police Department arrested four people (although "officers encountered seven individuals") at the Rose Motel, in the 3500 block of Tulane Avenue, June 15 for soliciting an undercover officer for crimes against nature. They also arrested five people (after "encountering" five) June 21 for the same crime at the same motel, said NOPD 1st District spokeswoman Melody Young.These arrests come less than three weeks after another series of mass arrests of sex workers, in which a total of 51 people were arrested on prostitution or drug-related charges (and another similarly-timed mass arrest that saw 43 arrests in one 8th ward bar).
Is the NOPD trying to get in some last arrests under the Crime Against Nature law before it is struck down? Or trying to clean up their image with mass harassment of poor people (especially women) of color?
Update: On June 26, Jarvis DeBerry wrote a great opinion piece in the Times-Picayune in support of efforts to overturn the law.
Photo Above: Deon Haywood, of Women With A Vision, which has led the fight against the Crime Against Nature Law.