Easy Targets: Is MPD Targeting Uber and Taxi Drivers in Solicitation of Prostitution Cases?
- 28 Jul
In a disturbing trend, I’ve seen a large rise in solicitation of prostitution arrests among those who pick up and drive customers for a living. It’s that time of year again, when MPD decides to devote a tremendous amount of resources to stamping out sex among consenting adults. Washington D.C. police have seemed, in recent years, to have increased the number of campaigns against prostitution in the city. Sometimes these stings involve placing fake advertisements in Back Pages, Craigslist, or the City Paper. More often, they simply throw an undercover MPD officer into fishnets and a halter top, back her up with a hidden arrest team, and send her out on the streets to flag down passersby in the hopes of securing solicitation arrests. But in recent months, solicitation arrests have begun to take on a disturbing familiarity. That’s because many of the clients who have walked into my office seeking help in defending themselves against these charges have had two things in common: 1) they are either Uber or Taxi drivers; and 2) their native language is something other than English.