Main | Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rainbow Lounge Fallout: Fort Worth Cops Rewrite Rules On Bar Raids

After enduring a firestorm of criticism and demonstrations over their violent raid of the Rainbow Lounge, Fort Worth police are completely revising their rules on conducting inspections of nightclubs.
The Fort Worth police chief said Tuesday that he is revising bar inspection policies in the wake of a raid on a gay bar that left one customer seriously injured and several officers facing allegations of wrongdoing. Chief Jeff Halstead told the City Council that problems happened at the Rainbow Lounge in the early morning hours of June 28 because the department's bar inspection policy lacked specific guidelines, which he said was why no policies were violated. He said a revised policy should be in place by Sept. 1 with rules for a three tiered-system: bar checks, inspections and investigations. The department is also trying to mend its relationship with the gay community — which held several protest marches after the raid — by having meetings, appointing an officer as a liaison and providing more diversity training to officers, Halstead said. "Once the policy is complete, we're never going to come here again," he said after giving his preliminary report on the investigation into the raid. "We are recovering from this, and I'm very proud of that."
You may recall that the above-quoted police chief initially claimed that Rainbow Lounge patrons groped the officers involved in the raid. Investigations continue against those officers. No lawsuits have yet been filed by customers.

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