Gay Bar in Ft. Worth, Texas Raided

  • metta

    Posts: 44200

    Jun 28, 2009 11:06 PM GMT
    I think that this deserves its own thread:

    I got a phone call at 3 this morning from Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema and former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was Camp’s birthday and the night of a special Q Cinema screening of two Stonewall documentaries… because it was ALSO the 40th anniverary of Stonewall, as anyone knows.
    Except, apparently, the Fort Worth PD.
    Or maybe worse, they DID know and wanted to make a point.
    The horrific details after the jump.

    According to Camp, the newly-opened Rainbow Lounge is “the only cool gay bar in town,” but the police raided it, arresting numerous patrons for no reason.
    I got another perspective in my in-box this morning:
    The not awesome thing was the paddy wagon of homophobic police that showed up … looking for trouble. My group and I were sitting on the back patio at a picnic table. Nobody was being wild out there. [The police] came through with flashlights, being loud asking what was going on out here, then asked why everyone was all the sudden being quiet. When one group started up their conversations again, they took one guy away. I left shortly after and as I walked through the front bar there were numerous cops with plastic handcuffs all ready to go. I [left] the bar and they [had] a big van in the parking lot and numerous cars on the street. And just so you know, it wasn’t fire hazard crowded or seedy wild in there. … The worst part is [friends later told me] that [the police] had numerous people face down on the ground outside. I just moved to Fort Worth from Dallas, so this is such a shock to me. I know Dallas would not put up with this. … I am still so shocked it is 2009 and this just happened.


    An eyewitness account from the Rainbow Lounge raid

    Googling around, the police are saying either

    1) they were arresting people for public intoxication, which is apparently now legal in Texas but is still obviously bullshit, or

    2) they got an anonymous call about a sexual assault in or near the bar, which is also bullshit because they didn't say anything about that to the people they arrested at the bar.

    PROTEST SCHEDULED at the Rainbow Lounge


    UPDATE: Rainbow Lounge protests
    June 28th, 2009
    Chuck Potter called. They are asking that people gather at the Rainbow Lounge at 5 p.m. today. Then there will be a protest outside the Tarrant County Courthouse in downtown Fort Worth at 7.m.

    Rainbow Lounge is located at 615 S. Jennings. The courthouse is on Weatherford at Main St.

    Parking downtown in all parking garages and at all meters. There is a parking garage very near the courthouse, at Weatherford and Throckmorton.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 28, 2009 11:28 PM GMT
    Is there any national or major regional coverage of this?
  • metta

    Posts: 44200

    Jun 29, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    I have not seen any but I did send the link to Rachel Maddow and CNN. I don't know if they will pay attention....but we will see. icon_smile.gif

    Maybe we should send them to Obermann, and maybe the other networks....maybe Ellen????
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    Blog it on huffington post and send to Anderson Cooper, Keith Boykin and Andrew Sullivan and maybe also the Task Force and HRC..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 1:57 PM GMT
    it is on dailykos & Towleroad and wickedgayblog.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 2:09 PM GMT
    The reason I ask is because so far this is all based on alleged participants, and second-hand reports from them. It really needs some credentialed, investigative media reporters. I'm glad this has been brought to the attention of major news organizations, who can look into the legitimacy of this story.

    This could be a serious issue, or exaggerated queeny hysteria. We need to monitor it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 2:38 PM GMT
    jprichva saidCNN just did a story on it.

    Thanks! Their Headline News on the half-hour? I'll watch the next cycle.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16412

    Jun 29, 2009 2:43 PM GMT
    Taken from CNN Website:

    DFW Gay Community Upset After Reported Bar Raid Selena Hernandez

    numSlides of totalImages Related Slideshows In To Be Out: Gay Celebrities 2009 Celebrity Deaths Strange Photos 2009 Related StoriesGay Pride Parades Held From Coast-To-Coast
    Members of the North Texas gay community are angry and they want answers. News of a raid Saturday Night of the Rainbow Lounge night club on South Jennings Avenue has sparked an outcry.

    Images posted on the Dallas Voice website have generated strong emotions from the community.

    Fort Worth police say early Sunday morning members of their department, along with 2 officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a raid at the brand new bar near downtown fort worth.

    Police say seven people were arrested for public intoxication and at least a dozen more were restrained. The incident was captured on camera and posted on local blogs. The scene was topic of conversation at Sunday's Million Gay March in Dallas, and the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas released a statement following its Sunday morning worship services.

    "After more than a generation of progress, this action shows that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all Americans enjoy 'equal protection under the law.' It is tragic that lesbian and gay taxpayers are still abused by the very people who are paid by our taxes."

    The community is upset because the raid happened on the 40 years anniversary of the "Stonewall raid." That raid, of a New York bar, is said to have launched the gay and lesbian civil rights movement.

    Raymond Gill was at the bar early Sunday morning. He says one of the TABC officers targeted him. "I asked him why I was pulled outside. He stated it was because the way I was walking. He said I looked like I was drunk. But as I stated, I got to the bar 30 minutes before they got there. I sat down had not got up before police got there. No one saw me walk."

    On the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse, on the exact day that sparked the gay and lesbian civil rights movement 40 years ago, the gay community of North Texas gathered to once again rally for their rights.

    "Everyone was just rattled by this, and scared. It's just not something I expected to see in 2009," witness Todd Camp said.

    Camp was among several others inside the Rainbow Lounge, when Fort worth Police, along with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a bar check just after midnight.

    "I've worked in gay bars in four different counties in Texas, I've never seen anything this aggressive," club bouncer Justin McCarty said.

    Fort Worth police arrested seven people for reported public intoxication, and for reportedly inappropriately groping an officer. It's an allegation witness Chuck Potter disputes.

    "I can guarantee there wasn't a man in this bar that would've touched one of those officers, knowing they were arresting people."

    "Rest assured the people of Fort Worth, or the government of Fort Worth -- will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens," Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns said. He's now calling for accountability.

    The incident left a man hospitalized with a head injury. Meanwhile Fort Worth police say the club was just one of several inspected late Saturday night. In a statement, police say the department is conducting a thorough internal investigation into the allegations, as well as the allegations against the officer.

    (© MMIX, CBS Broa
  • metta

    Posts: 44200

    Jun 29, 2009 2:57 PM GMT

    Gays, lesbians rally in Fort Worth over bar raid


    Police say 7 arrested for public intoxication; one man remains hospitalized with brain injury incurred during incident


    Between 150 and 200 people gathered on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse Sunday, June 28 — the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion — to protest a police raid on a Fort Worth gay bar, The Rainbow Lounge, at about 1 a.m. that day. Gay Fort Worth City Councilmember Joel Burns told the protesters he has called on Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of harassment and police brutality against bar patrons during the raid. One man remains hospitalized with a brain injury after, witnesses said, several officers threw him to the ground while arresting him. TAMMYE NASH/Dallas Voice

    Councilman Joel Burns Statement Concerning "Rainbow Lounge" Raid


    Contact: Councilman Joel Burns 817-881-1887 Fort Worth City Council, Dist. 9

    Statement from Councilmember Joel Burns Regarding Police Action at the Rainbow Lounge on 6/28/2009 FORT WORTH, TEXAS-6/28/2009 . I want all citizens of Texas and Fort Worth to know and be assured that the laws and ordinances of our great State and City will be applied fairly, equally and without malice or selective enforcement. I consider this to be part of "The Fort Worth Way" here. As an elected representative of the city of Fort Worth, I am calling for an immediate and thorough investigation of the actions of the City of Fort Worth Police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in relation to the incident at the Rainbow Lounge earlier this morning, June 28, 2009.

    It is unfortunate that this incident occurred in Fort Worth and even more so to have occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests. Unlike 40 years ago, though, the people of this community have elective representation that will make sure our government is accountable and that the rights of all of its citizens are protected. I are working together with our Mayor, Police Chief, the City of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission, and our State Legislative colleagues to get a complete and accurate accounting of what occurred.

    Rest assured that neither the people of Fort Worth, nor the city government of Fort Worth, will tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens. And know that the GLBT Community is an integral part of the economic and cultural life of Fort Worth.

    Every Fort Worth citizen deserves to have questions around this incident answered and I am working aggressively toward that end


    More stories:
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2009 4:24 PM GMT
    It made it on CNN:
  • metta

    Posts: 44200

    Jun 30, 2009 4:45 PM GMT


    I just got back from a bar run. I went to the Rainbow Lounge and the Crossroads and talked to a number of people who were there that night. (The Crossroads is a block and a half down.) Their stories are all alike. All of them agree completely with Todd and Chris's accounts. There were absolutely no discrepencies among them.

    I also talked to Chad's mother. You know, the one who was injured by the police. He is still in the ICU with bleeding in the brain. She admits he was drunk at the time, but she also believes that he would not have groped an officer to bring all this upon himself.

    I certainly agree that the officers' story is not credible. I've been in all the gay bars that have operated in Fort Worth since 1989. I've been in a few when bar checks were being conducted. I have never seen the kind of behavior that the police are describing. I'll go further in light of some of the comments to some of the articles. I have never seen drugs being sold or used in a gay bar in Fort Worth. I have never seen prostitution countenanced in a gay bar in Fort Worth. I have never seen an obvious minor in a gay bar in Fort Worth. I have never seen a brawl in a gay bar in Fort Worth (although there was a stabbing in a gay bar in Fort Worth when I wasn't there). These kinds of things just don't happen in gay bars in Fort Worth, and if they look like they're about to happen, the offending patron is expelled.

    That latter paragraph is a big part of the reason that find the police report of the incident so incredible. Besides that, the police report recites that the owner was given notification of the bar check twice, once on the very day of the incident! Wouldn't an owner make sure that there were no problems when he knew the cops were going to show up?

    The whole situation is outrageous. Another protest is being planned for this coming weekend.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 19, 2009 11:48 PM GMT
    TABC apologizes for raid: