Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie has ‘finally’ issued a ‘department-wide memo to remind officers not to arrest people using that statute,’ reported The Advocate, a local Baton Rouge newspaper.
The memo came after the chief also apologized after two Louisiana men were arrested on Friday using an unconstitutional and unenforceable anti-sodomy law after they were seen having sex in a car in a park.
Although Louisiana’s anti-sodomy law has been invalidated by the Supreme Court a decade ago and is not enforceable, the law is still on the books after the State House voted 66-27 last year in favor of rejecting the repeal.
The men aged 25 and 33 were having sex in the back seat of a car in Forest Community Park in the early hours of February 12 when they were spotted by a Baton Rouge police officer on patrol.
They were arrested and charged however a district judge threw out the charges after finding there was no probable cause.
The police department also recognized the mistake and apologized for the arrests.
‘The officers made a mistake,’ police department spokesman Lt. Johnny Dunnam was quoted as saying in the report.
‘The chief wants to send his apologies to those individuals for making that mistake and has contacted supervisors to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’
The Police Department however plans to go ahead with the counts of trespassing in the park against the two men as they were in the park after hours.
Bruce Parker, coalition manager of Equality Louisiana, said his group has not been able to find anti-sodomy arrests in the state outside Baton Rouge.
‘If Baton Rouge police said before they won’t enforce it, and if the court’s said they can’t enforce it, it’s beyond comprehension why they’re still enforcing it,’ he told The Advocate.
In 2013 the same police department came after fire after they made a series of controversial arrests in a series of sting operations under the same defunct law.
The East Baton Rouge sheriff claimed at the time he didn’t know the state’s anti-sodomy law has been invalidated by the Supreme Court in its landmark 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas.