Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Atlanta Eagle Bar Patrons Sue Police Over Raid

From Towleroad.com: "On behalf of 19 individuals forcibly searched and detained by Atlanta police on September 10 at the Atlanta Eagle gay bar, Lambda Legal is suing the City, the Chief of Police, and 48 officers, the group said in a press release:

"Dan Grossman, co–counsel in the case, has been working with victims of the raid since that night. "I’ve listened to dozens of stories from patrons who were mistreated by police at the Atlanta Eagle that night," said Grossman. 'The Atlanta Police Department is not above the law. They do not get to search and detain people who are not suspected of any crime.' On September 10, the Atlanta Police Department dispatched about twenty to thirty officers to the Atlanta Eagle, including its 'Red Dog Unit' dressed in SWAT team gear, but inside the bar the APD found no public sex, no drugs, or illegal weapons. During the raid, patrons of the bar were forced to lie facedown on the floor while background checks were run on everyone. Eagle bar patrons heard antigay slurs; were forced to lay in spilled beer and broken glass; and one was forced to lie on the floor even though he had injured his back in the Iraq War. Not a single patron was charged with any crime."

Said Supervising Senior Staff Attorney Greg Nevins: "The illegal activity going on in the Atlanta Eagle that night was committed by the APD. If it is APD procedure for elderly men and wounded veterans to be thrown to the floor and harassed simply for being in a bar having a drink after work, then the APD should change its procedures."