Main | Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dallas Paper Calls For Inquiry Into Fort Worth Gay Bar Raid

The Dallas Morning News doesn't seem to believe the Fort Worth cops.
The Fort Worth Police Department still has some explaining to do about what happened early Sunday at a southside gay bar called the Rainbow Lounge. Or some clarifying or some illuminating or some supplementary detailing – anything to mitigate the apparently self-administered public-relations shot-to-the-foot it suffered after what it keeps calling a routine "bar check." 'Cause – Problem No. 1 – bar patrons who were there say it wasn't a "check," it was a "raid." Problem No. 2, this particular "check" ended with a kid in the intensive-care unit with a head injury. Problem No. 3, in what I can only hope is a spectacularly infelicitous coincidence, all this took place on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Raid. [snip] Fort Worth is a fine and tolerant city.

The police officers I personally know over there are decent, stand-up people. But today, in the Twitter-and-blog-enabled process of rapid dissemination, they're getting an ugly reputation. And the flames of indiscriminate opinion about Texas being a stagnant backwater of vicious, insular, hate-crazed xenophobes dance higher. So, Fort Worth, we need some answers, please, and quickly. This is no time to stonewall.
One bar patron remains in intensive care with a brain injury. The cops claims he fell and hit his head because he was so drunk. On the Dallas Voice, one of the club's dancers saw one of the arrests go down this way:
I was still standing near the entrance to the VIP lounge with a friend when an officer approached a man standing there. The man had water in his hand. The officer asked him how much he had had to drink and the man said that he didn’t have to answer that. The officer then said that he was going to arrest him for public intoxication. The man said,”You can’t do that I am just standing here right now drinking water.” At the time the officer shoved the man over towards the wall near the dressing room and then back to the rear wall near the men’s restroom, then down onto the floor. Several other officers, made their way back there to hold that ONE MAN down on the ground as they placed restraints on him. At the time I noticed that all of them did not have FWPD uniforms on. Some of them were actually State Police.

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