POLITICS
12/18/2013 09:08 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Man Sues After Bungled Sex Sting Operation

Reason TV has the story of Charles Samuel Couch, the caretaker of a disabled boy who was embarrassed and humiliated during a ridiculous sex sting operation in Manhattan Beach, California. He had done nothing wrong.

The Reason folks ask the obvious question here -- don't these cops have anything better to do than to snoop around to find people having sex in public bathrooms?

But there are a couple of other issues, here. First is this general trend of posting the mug shots of arrestees on the web. These pages usually include a tiny disclaimer noting that an arrest doesn't necessarily imply guilt. Still. The whole point of posting their mugshots is to embarrass them -- which of course does them harm. What do we people whose reputations are ruined when the cops get it wrong?

The other troubling thing about this story is that according to the lawsuit, as part of the investigation, one of these cops was apparently peering through the stall, watching this young kid go to the bathroom. Was that really necessary?

I can certainly see the problems with allowing people to regularly use public bathrooms for sexual encounters. But there must be better solutions than to station undercover cops in those bathrooms to spy on us as we relieve ourselves.

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