Cops usually can’t break the law, even when they’re undercover, but police departments in Hawaii recently lobbied state lawmakers to carve out an exception to what is a pretty good rule. Last week, when the state legislature was considering amending an anti-prostitution law to prohibit undercover officers from having penetrative sex with prostitutes, the police were like, “Actually, we need the flexibility to have full-on intercourse or we can’t do our jobs properly. Third base doesn’t cut it.”
Hawaii’s House passed the bill, thereby saying “you can have sex with prostitutes if you really need to,” but, understandably, a week’s worth of headlines like, “Hawaiian Police Want to Have Sex with Prostitutes Real Bad” and “Haha Dude Wasn’t This Exact Thing in The Wire?” caused legislators to have second thoughts about the rule now that it’s hit the state Senate.
Sex trafficking victim’s advocacy groups are horrified by the prospect of the cops having sex with people who are being forced to perform these acts, and some former sex workers dispute the frequency of “cop checks,” where suspicious prostitutes start performing sex acts to determine whether their john is really an undercover officer. But Honolulu cop Jerry Inouye argued to the state House judiciary committee that the police need this statue in place just so that pimps and sex workers don’t know cops are barred from sleeping with prostitutes while on duty. The Honolulu Police Department’s written statement likewise pleaded that not letting cops engage in full-on sex would be “preventing officers from enforcing prostitution laws.”I don't for one second think there's any truth to that last statement. It's not even close to them "wanting to believe" it. We all know what they want.
On the other hand, technically just agreeing to participate in a sex act for money counts as prostitution in the state of Hawaii. It seems like it would be easy for cops to bring someone in without having to, y’know, do it. And, according to the Washington Post, prostitution—a petty misdemeanor—made up a whopping 0.7 percent of the arrests in Honolulu in 2012. It doesn’t seem like a priority for their officers, so why exactly is this right to unrestricted sexy time with sex workers so important? And why does the rest of America seem to be doing fine without such a law?
It’s almost as if Hawaii cops just really, really want to believe that having sex with a woman, then arresting the woman for accepting payment is a vital part of their jobs.