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Police use Facebook “John Shaming” to Fight Prostitution

Police use Facebook “John Shaming” to Fight Prostitution

Taking an idea from the “Dog Shaming” website.

http://www.ktvu.com/videos/news/richmond-police-use-social-media-in-fight-against/vCq3tf/

The police of the California city of Richmond are waging a social media war against prostitution…one that fans of “pet shaming” pictures on Facebook will recognize.

When a man is caught soliciting a prostitute, the punishment police hand out is usually far less than what they will find at home when their wife or girlfriend find out.

So police in California are using the tactic of shaming Johns by posting their pictures online, in hopes the embarrassment being shared with the public will be enough to curb prostitution.

It appears that the tactic is meeting with initial success. In a video report from KTVU Channel 10 News, Jim Sciarroni, who owns an auto body shop near a hot-spot for prostitution, says that since the department started posting the pictures on their Facebook page: “Traffic has slowed down, there’s very few that come by here during the day. The traffic on Ohio has quieted down.”

Local news has this video report:

Since the “Internet never forgets”, defense attorneys are already expressing legal concerns.

‘What happens when charges are dismissed or acquitted? Will their mug shots live on in a Google cache for years, only to be discovered by neighbors, employers and family members years later?’ San Francisco public defender Jeff Adachi asked SFGate. ‘Once information is made available on the Internet, it is captured and recaptured, so it is never erasable.’

San Francisco resident Giovanni Avila, 47, was one of 11 men busted Thursday for soliciting undercover cops and he claims he’s innocent.

He was driving with a friend to get tacos when they started chatting up the women and talking sex, but says he had no intention of actually going through with any of it.

‘They may catch some guys that do that every day, but then again, they might catch another guy that was not planning on doing that and never has done that before,’ he said. ‘I think it’s an invasion of privacy. That could hurt some people’s lives and way of living.

However, nothing succeeds like success. Business owners in the area are happy with the results. Now, let’s hope California’s bureaucrats come up with equally creative ways to solve the rest of our state’s problems.

[Featured Image – KTVU Video]

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Comments

Something tells me a radical group like the ACLU will be all over this.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to healthguyfsu. | September 8, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Yeah, this violates the Constitutional protection against being offended, embarrassed or made fun of, doesn’t it?

    (Note: Post contains sarcasm and does not reflect poster’s actual or implied knowledge of the United States Constitution. Not valid in KY, LA, RI, DE, HI, or the Republic of Ireland.)

      I thought that punishment for a crime was supposed to come after a trial.

        Brian Epps in reply to Brian Epps. | September 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

        …something I read once about the processing of dues or something.

          TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Brian Epps. | September 9, 2014 at 2:26 am

          You must’ve missed the sarcasm part, huh?

          Seriously, it’s California. If there was the slightest danger of getting sued, they wouldn’t go near it. I just think it’s funny that people won’t bat an eye about going to jail, but having their grill posted on Facebook is this big tragedy.

Prostitution is a crime that involves at least two people: One buying sex and one selling sex. Why are the photos of the people buying sex the only ones published on sex shaming websites? In fairness, the photos of both parties should be published, don’t you think? Both parties are committing a crime (except in the case of undercover police entrapping unwitting johns).

    In a lot of places, they post the pictures of the accused prostitutes. I haven’t been able to find any for Richmond, CA immediately, but I’m sure if I look for a bit I could find it.

      Ragspierre in reply to Chuck Skinner. | September 8, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      And as reckless as it is to publish photos of ACCUSED johns…

      Think about the added heat of “slut-shaming” a woman a good civil lawyer could use in a defamation suit!

      SAAAAA-weeet…!!!

VetHusbandFather | September 8, 2014 at 8:50 am

“He was driving with a friend to get tacos when they started chatting up the women and talking sex, but says he had no intention of actually going through with any of it.” Personal liberty issues aside, this guy is full of shit.

PersonFromPorlock | September 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

“healthguyfsu | September 8, 2014 at 8:33 am

Something tells me a radical group like the ACLU will be all over this.”

They should be, absent a conviction and sentencing to public shaming.

Wouldn’t it be better to legalize prostitution and stop using the police to ruin people’s lives?

    Ragspierre in reply to weenchit. | September 8, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Is that what police are “being used for”? Really?

    Are you assured that nobody’s life is ruined by legalized prostitution?

      weenchit in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2014 at 11:43 am

      The police are enforcing policy that does nothing other than ruin people’s lives. Whether that is intended or not isn’t the issue. Police action can’t stop the activity; they can only make the consequences worse. There are thousands of legal ways to ruin lives I see no reason why prostitution should be an illegal one.

        Ragspierre in reply to weenchit. | September 8, 2014 at 11:54 am

        “The police are enforcing policy that does nothing other than ruin people’s lives.”

        Nothing, huh…???

        Well, I was hoping to engage a NOT idiot on this, but…

        just damn.

          weenchit in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

          Yeah, that’s right. As in a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Our police have far more important things to do but we continue to put them in an impossible situation when we require them to enforce these kinds of laws. You are the idiot.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm

          Should I have said, “Unthinking, irrational extremist”?

          Because that’s what you have demonstrated you are.

          There are arguments to be made here. You can’t participate.

          What are your views on immigration?

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to weenchit. | September 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

    No, that unfairly forces Gentleman’s Clubs to compete for the best and brightest from the limited talent pool available.

    Phillep Harding in reply to weenchit. | September 8, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Get politically involved and put pressure on the politicians.

I’m surpised that with our civil fortiture laws the way they are that these individuals did not get every penny in their wallet confiscated as well as their bank accounts before the charges even hit the courtroom.

I’d rather have the cops rounding up, arresting, and deporting ILLEGALS who consume city services and benefits than two consulting adults engaged in a private business transaction.

But hey, it’s Cali ….

Can we give politician shaming a try? “My name is Barack. I lied when I said you could keep your health plan, so you would vote for me.”

Ok, back to the discussion at hand regarding the public shaming:

This will last exactly as long as it takes them to falsely accuse one person with sufficient resources to fight the charge and counter-sue for defamation of character, or who happens to be a lawyer of even moderate notoriety.

Immediately upon charging an individual in one of the two categories above, the City of Richmond will get hit with a Temporary Restraining Order from providing, delivering or in any other way releasing the photo of the accused on the grounds that once released, there is no adequate remedy at law in order to restore that person’s reputation. If they’ve already released it by the time the TRO is issued, God help them.

Alternatively, if one person fights the charge and wins (via dismissal or acquittal), he can then civilly sue for defamation per se (its a sex crime), malicious prosecution, violation of civil rights and I’m sure a host of other violations of his privacy interest under the California Constitution.

There’s a reason that Wayne County Michigan (where Detroit is located) doesn’t do this anymore with the accused Johns. They LOST (or were in danger of losing and settled) one-too-many defamation suits and had to pay through the nose.

Specifically one they settled was after one of their undercover Sheriffs engaged in a Sting operation arrested someone for solicitation who did nothing other than tell her “go away.” Conservative estimate in that case alone is $3.5 million in payments (settlement confidential of course). Between that and a small handful of other cases, there is an estimate of about $12 Million in losses. For a bankrupt County, that’s a big number for the population to swallow.

The arrogance of the police doing something like this is only matched by the stupidity of the leadership allowing it. It is a recipe for disaster.

VetHusbandFather | September 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm

This will last exactly as long as it takes them to falsely accuse one person with sufficient resources to fight the charge and counter-sue for defamation of character, or who happens to be a lawyer of even moderate notoriety.

Fixed that for you. (Feeling snarky today).

It’s not entirely clear to me what takes place here. Are the men in the pictures the ones who have pleaded guilty and have agreed to this as part of their punishment? The article in the provided link seemed to be implying this was done almost immediately after the men were arrested.

This “shaming” strategy seems to have a lot of potential for backfiring on the police and the city of Richmond. If you get a speeding ticket you can appeal (and perhaps win in court if you can prove you are innocent), but how do you appeal something like this?

So, what happens if one of these johns has a video camera and wanted to make a movie? Doesn’t that magically turn the prostitute into an “actress”?

Eventually they will target some man who commits suicide because the public shaming ruined his life. And his widow will sue everyone involved for millions.

Or someone who decides to get revenge on the police on his way out. Suicide by police shooting, several officers shot and killed in the process.

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