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Parson told them they were mistaken. He wasn't following the gray sedan. He was just lost and looking for Interstate 95.
"I'm a cop from D.C.," he said. In reality, he had been retired and only a reserve officer for two years.
They let him drive away. Then they went to talk to the driver of the gray sedan.
The window rolled down to reveal a thin White boy. He said he had pulled over to text a friend. The officer told the boy he didn't believe him. In his report, he described what the teenager - who turned out to be 16 - did next.
"He dropped his head, took a deep breath, and stated he met the guy who was following behind him online and they were meeting to 'hook up.' "
The teenager began to tell the officers the story he would repeat at least three times that night, including at the sexual assault treatment center where he was taken after his parents were called.
He'd met Parson on Growlr, a dating app for gay men that requires users to be 18. He'd lied about his birthday to use the app, claiming he was 18. He said he and Parson exchanged oral sex in the parking lot of a day care.
He said he knew Parson used to be a police officer.
What he didn't know was that Parson was not just any police officer. The man who had just driven away was known nationally and internationally as a pioneer of gay rights in policing.
In the nation's capital, Parson built an award-winning liaison unit that investigated hate crimes, befriended advocates and marched in Pride parades, slowly revolutionizing the relationship between the police and the city's LGBTQ community. People saw him everywhere: dance clubs and book clubs, hospital bedsides and funeral homes, early-morning court hearings and late-night domestic disputes.
The city's 2019 guide to Pride called Parson a "living legend." The Department of Justice, the State Department, Amnesty International, the Southern Poverty Law Center and other police departments relied on his expertise.
Now, he was going to jail. The warrant for his arrest listed two counts of unlawful sexual activity. If convicted, he could face a prison sentence and a lifetime as a registered sex offender. Under Florida law, claiming to be misled about the age of a victim cannot be used as a legal defense.
Queens City Councilwoman Vickie Paladino (R-Whitestone) has been booted from the chamber’s mental health committee as punishment for her strident opposition to Drag Queen Story Hour.
“I was targeted. This was a retaliation,” the conservative firebrand told The Post — laying the blame squarely at the feet of Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who she said gave in to pressure from progressives.
“As an individual she is a lovely lady but I really think she is being bullied … She is afraid of the progressive left,” Paladino said.
The freshman lawmaker was formally removed from the Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction by a full vote of the Council on March 2.
Paladino, 68, has called the city-funded programs that bring fully-bedecked drag queens into public schools and libraries to read to and socialize with kids — often without the consent or knowledge of parents — “cultural indoctrination” and “child grooming.”
Sent nudes to a (probably male) student, huge advocate for LGBTQ and Gender Bending Grooming.