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Politicub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-12-09 03:19 PM
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Atlanta police raid gay bar, arrest 8
I'm including a story from yesterday's Atlanta Journal Constitution about the raid of the Atlanta Eagle on Thursday evening as well as reporting afterward by the Southern Voice, a weekly GLBT newspaper in Atlanta. The only charge? Eight people were arrested for go go dancing without permits -- the cops called this "providing adult entertainment without a permit."

But the real outrage is that all of the bar patrons were made to lay on the floor and each were searched, while another police officer checked their ID against a database of past warrants. This outrageous search didn't net any additional arrests. There were no drugs found, or anything else that would warrant raiding the bar.

The Atlanta PD's justification for the raid? The police said the mayor's office had received a tip that "elicit sex" was happening in the bar. While undercover police officers said that they observed "criminal behavior." That's it, and the police didn't find sex happening in the bar nor did they arrest anyone for it. I guess dancing in a go go cage without a license will get your bar raided in Atlanta, and undercover cops sent to monitor you.

This raid has a chilling effect on the gay community. Imagine being at a bar with your friends and the police coming in with megaphones and lights, and yelling at everyone to get down on the floor before they search your person.

I'm both amazed and saddened that this kind of harassment of the gay community can happen in 2009. Anyone who is fair minded - gay, straight, it doesn't matter -- will see the injustice of this raid. An attorney was quoted in an article in the Southern Voice as saying dancing without a permit typically is addressed with a simple citation. Not a raid and search of everyone in an establishment.

Atlanta police raid gay bar, arrest 8

By Christian Boone
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

7:11 p.m. Friday, September 11, 2009
The owners of an Atlanta gay bar say their establishment was unfairly targeted by police conducting a raid Thursday evening.

Several customers at Atlanta Eagle say they were harassed without prompting. They were forced to the ground and frisked, according to several witnesses.

"Our problem is with the way our customers were treated," said one of the Eagle's owners, Richard Ramey.

Eight employees of the bar were arrested around 11:30 p.m., charged with providing adult entertainment without a city permit.

Im thinking, this is Stonewall. Its like I stepped into the wrong decade, said Nick Koperski, 31, who had just gotten to the bar when the raid, involving more than a dozen police officers, some in plain clothes, commenced. Patrons at the Stonewall Inn staged a series of riots against New York police in 1969, saying they were routinely harassed because of their sexual orientation. The protests are credited with kick starting the modern gay rights movement.

And here is a report from the Southern Voice. Little did the cops know that a Southern Voice reporter was in the bar when it was raided.

Patrons gather at Atlanta Eagle to show support after police raid
Rally set for Sunday; attorney claims police violated patrons' rights

Patrons gathered at the Eagle Friday and held hands to show support after the bar was raided by police.
Attorney Alan Begner, who is representing The Eagle, was meeting today with those arrested during a police raid at the leather bar on Thursday at his office to discuss possible legal action against the city. The men have a court day Monday morning but nothing is expected to happen at that time, he said.

Begner, who has represented such bars at Backstreet and specializes in obscenity law, said he is unclear if police actually had a warrant to search the premises, although he has been told police did have one.

"The situation is such that they were coming in for the least serious ordinance violation of all time dancing around in underwear," he said today."

There is more great reporting at the Southern Voice site.

When any of us are targeted unjustly, we are all targeted.
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Voice for Peace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-12-09 03:32 PM
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1. k/r
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-12-09 03:49 PM
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2. K&R
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AndyA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-12-09 04:06 PM
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3. This kind of crap used to happen in Tulsa back in the '70s.
I had a friend who worked at a gay bar, and they had two staffs scheduled for each shift. The back up was in case the police came in and arrested the regularly scheduled staff. This was before we had liquor by the drink, and that was the reason given for the raids, but the gay bars seemed to have more than their fair share.

So, when the regular staff knew they were getting arrested, one of them would indicate to the DJ to call the back up staff. So, most of the time the back up staff was there before everyone was even hauled out. Half the time, their attorney and bail bond people were waiting for them at the police station to bail them out immediately. It was like a big game.

Years ago, I lived in Atlanta and I used to love Backstreet, which I understand is gone now. Very sad, that was a really fun place.

People can't deal with a black man in the White House, they can't deal with gay people, they don't want anyone telling them what to do, but they want to be able to tell everyone else what they have to do. Fuck that.

I'm glad the police didn't find anything else at the Eagle, it would have just given them more reason to come back again in the future. :(
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backscatter712 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-23-11 11:19 PM
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4. Reason #632703657 why police are the enemy. n/t
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