Thursday, January 04, 2007

Prostitution sting

A woman is processed by the Beaumont Police Department after being arrested for prostitution during a sting operation in Beaumont on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2006. The police department is cracking down on prostitution and solicitation throughout the city.

Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

A woman is processed by the Beaumont Police Department after being arrested in a sting operation for prostitution.

A woman waits to be placed in a prison transport van by the Beaumont Police Department after she was arrested for prostitution during a sting operation.

A woman waits to be placed in a prison transport van after being arrested for prostitution by the Beaumont Police Department during a sting operation.

This was one of those marginal situations. It's not as contrived as a check passing, but its a serious effort to control the message. The police want to show they're doing something about crime. So, they invited all the media in town to observe the results of their sting operation.

According to the story (below), "Six women were arrested after telling undercover officers they would perform sexual acts for a price. Two other women haggled with the officers over prices, so they were arrested for soliciting for the purpose of prostitution, Holmes said."

After dark, another sting operation took down the "Johns," men who purchase sex for money. Undercover, female police officers arrested the men who finance and perpetuate prostitution. This netted an additional seven arrests for soliciting prostitution. The story indicates none were local residents.

Before anyone asks, yes, it's perfectly legal to show the faces of people under arrest. However, our paper prefers to not to "convict before trial" by showing faces of people caught in orchestrated stings of Class B misdemeanor crimes. Capital crime arrestees are an entirely different situation.

Since none of the ladies' colorful statements to the media included their names, no names were available. However, everyone got a good laugh when the first female arrived at the command post and told the assembled media that she didn't give us permission to photograph her (standing on a public street in handcuffs).

I think the interesting part of this story is that eight women were arrested within a few hours on a rainy, cold, Wednesday afternoon for prostitution. What's it like on a pleasant Friday or Saturday night?

Please read "Sting operation on 11th Street in Beaumont nets 15 sex offense arrests" by Rolando Garcia.


SingingSkies said...

Does the fact that the 'john' portion of the sting took place after dark account for there being no pictures of them being arrested?

Mark M. Hancock said...

Darkness and torrential rains prohibited part two of the shoot. I fried a camera beyond repair during this funeral in Oct. (even though I had a rain jacket on the rig). Cops patting themselves on the back over misdemeanors isn't worth losing another $2,500 camera body and a flash. However, I have no problem sacrificing a camera during another military funeral.

SingingSkies said...

Don't blame you! While I'm not a photographer, I would have done the same thing in a similar situation.

I'm encouraged to know that part two was planned, even if it did have to be called on account of rain.

Mark M. Hancock said...

It takes two to tango.