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Police Deny Targeting Gays in Violent Fort Worth, TX Bar Raid

Halstead

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead tells the Star-Telegram that police officers did not target the Rainbow Lounge, a gay nightclub, because of the sexuality of its customers or the date (the 40th anniversary of Stonewall), calling it a "routine bar inspection."

Rainbow Seven were arrested for public intoxication and one person remains hospitalized for a head injury which may yet require surgery.

The paper reports: "Some customers made 'sexually explicit motions,' according to a police statement, and one grabbed an officer’s crotch. A police spokesman later identified that person as Gibson. 'My brother would not do that,' [Kristy] Morgan said. Gibson, a high-tech worker who is about 5-feet-8 and weighs about 150 pounds, was at the club with friends, including a designated driver, she said. 'He’s not a big drinker, a big partyer,' she said. The police statement said one patron was so drunk he was vomiting. Morgan said her brother threw up because of his head injury. She also questioned police efforts to summon medical help. The time on Gibson’s ticket for public intoxication is 2:10 a.m. An ambulance wasn’t called until 2:25 a.m. Club Manager Randy Norman said Gibson didn’t seem drunk and was walking from the men’s room, holding a bottle of water, when an officer pushed him against a wall and then pushed him to the ground. Some patrons said they heard Gibson ask the officer a question, but that he didn’t fight back. At least three officers were involved in handcuffing him."

A columnist at the Dallas Morning News is demanding answers. As are local politicians: "Council members Joel Burns and Kathleen Hicks are requesting the probe into Sunday's raid at the Rainbow Lounge, where about a half dozen people were arrested. Hicks says she's disturbed by the raid that sent at least one person to the hospital."

Fort Worth police statement identifying involved officers, and local news report,
AFTER THE JUMP...

FORT WORTH POLICE STATEMENT

On Sunday morning, June 28, 2009, at 12:30 a.m., six (6) Fort Worth Police Officers, two (2) TABC agents and a Fort Worth supervisor conducted inspections at 160 W Rosedale (Rosedale Saloon and Cowboy Palace). This inspection resulted in nine (9) arrests. Once the inspection was completed at these locations, officers proceeded to the Rainbow Lounge.

Officers arrived at the Rainbow Lounge to conduct the scheduled inspection. The Fort Worth Police Officers who participated in this bar check included the following: Officer K. Gober, #3656, Officer J. Ricks, #3484, Officer M. Marquez, #3655, Officer J. Jenson, #3731, Officer J. Back, #3863, Officer J. Moss, #3722 and Sergeant Morris.

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead would like to emphasize that any and all allegations of misconduct against any Fort Worth Police Officer will be investigated thoroughly. Any person present during the bar check conducted at the Rainbow Lounge that observed any misconduct of a Fort Worth Police Officer is encouraged to contact the Internal Affairs Division at 817-392-4270 in order to set up an interview.

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Comments

  1. You've come a long way baby since Stonewall. . . oh wait, we haven't.

    Posted by: ButchSF | Jun 30, 2009 9:55:38 AM


  2. I've seen some stuff on other blogs that suggests these goons shake down a lot of bars, gay AND straight - i.e they confisdcate the cashbox and tip jar, etc.

    Not that it makes it any better what they did, but perhaps this should spark and investigation of their broader activities rather than simply framing it as a "gay issue."

    Posted by: Kevin | Jun 30, 2009 9:57:37 AM


  3. the day dallas/fort worth is not corrupt is the day... well, no, that day will never come... also, any city in texas...
    let them secede, i hated my four years there anyway.

    Posted by: Joel | Jun 30, 2009 10:12:06 AM


  4. Public Intoxication leaves a broad gray description. If you have 1 drink you could be considered intoxicated, so what is their point of going to a bar? If someone is drunk on the street or in an unexpected place in that condition, I could understand it. My question is why police would to go directly to a bar gay or straight to seek out such an instance? It's like going to a bank and arresting people for attempted robbery while all they were doing was trying to make a withdrawal from their account.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Jun 30, 2009 10:15:44 AM


  5. SUE! SUE! SUE! It's the only way these bigots will learn.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 30, 2009 10:16:02 AM


  6. Where's the list of all the other bars that are part of the "routine bar inspection", you lying motherf*cker?!

    Posted by: Leto | Jun 30, 2009 10:35:53 AM


  7. Thugs, nothing but bully thugs and liars.

    Posted by: TLA | Jun 30, 2009 10:46:22 AM


  8. I hope this case continues to get NATIONAL attention and that this Texas homophobic police dept. gets sued. I agree, that is the only way these jerkscan stop doing this baloney.

    Why arrest people INSIDE a bar? This has got to stop. The police dept. is exposed for their wrongdoings and put on trail.

    Sue their assess off!

    Posted by: FunMe | Jun 30, 2009 11:05:56 AM


  9. this is outrageous. i've seen this kind of abuse of authority in a gay bar in mexico once, over ten years ago. however, in mexico no one was sent to the hospital as a result. how is it possible that ft. worth police think that it is ok to go to a gay bar and commit mayhem and possibly murder?

    i hope that this is a bad joke between the police department and the gay bar to call attention to stonewall.

    Posted by: nic | Jun 30, 2009 11:14:50 AM


  10. Why does it take six Fort Worth Police Officers and two TABC agents just to do an inspection? Sounds like they were already prepared to arrest a bunch of people regardless of the situation. Add to that the obvious lies that they made describing the behavior of the patrons, this is looking VERY suspicious.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Jun 30, 2009 11:23:27 AM


  11. I have worked in several bars in Texas including one where they arrested several of my patrons for this same thing. Although all of these were done without violence. It was my understanding that they had stopped this last year.. All of the cases in my city were dropped. After of course the patron and the employee who served the patron spent at least a night in jail. The way TABC works here is rather odd and unfair to small buisnesses. Anyway, my two cents. Oh, and all of the bars I work in are straight.

    Posted by: Kris W. | Jun 30, 2009 11:43:19 AM


  12. Public Intoxication in a Bar? Oh my! I bet that never happens and why did they leave some cops outside and only 4 went inside. Where they guys who were left out because they couldn't muster up the courage to walk into a gay bar? The bar was open for 1 week and already raided. Hmmmm! Does the State usually visit a bar when it opens in the first week? Then when 3 cops walk in they don't even get threw the front door and 3 guys makes sexual advances towards the three cops and grope one of them. These cops must be real lookers, WOW! LOL I have been a cop for nearly 30 years, I happen to be gay and I work out take care of myself and some would say I'm not a bad looking guy and I have never had anyone grab, grope or make sexual advantages towards me in either gay or straight bars, either in uniform or when I worked undercover. Further more I would never locked anyone up for public intoxication if they had grabbed or groped me they would be charged with assault and battery, indecent assault and battery. Hmmm 3 gropped before they hit the actual bar itself wow AMAZING! Sounds like the story changed after the they had to call in 3 cops to subdue 1 man who weighed 150. I'm gay and Id be embarrassed if I had to call 3 cops to help me with a guy who was 150 lbs shy of him having a weapon. This is sad, 3 cops to knock the guy down and split his head to lock him up for Public Intoxication. There cop should be embarrassed.


    To many questions and not enough answers and this things SMELLS BAD! Time for another investigation from the Attorney General. Maybe someone should be talking to Eric Holders Office? Where are the Lesbian and Gay Defenders on this? Don't back down but handle this in a way of class unlike these guys and do us proud Texas.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 30, 2009 11:43:33 AM


  13. Public Intoxication in a Bar? Oh my! I bet that never happens and why did they leave some cops outside and only 4 went inside. Where they guys who were left out because they couldn't muster up the courage to walk into a gay bar? The bar was open for 1 week and already raided. Hmmmm! Does the State usually visit a bar when it opens in the first week? Then when 3 cops walk in they don't even get threw the front door and 3 guys makes sexual advances towards the three cops and grope one of them. These cops must be real lookers, WOW! LOL I have been a cop for nearly 30 years, I happen to be gay and I work out take care of myself and some would say I'm not a bad looking guy and I have never had anyone grab, grope or make sexual advantages towards me in either gay or straight bars, either in uniform or when I worked undercover. Further more I would never locked anyone up for public intoxication if they had grabbed or groped me they would be charged with assault and battery, indecent assault and battery. Hmmm 3 gropped before they hit the actual bar itself wow AMAZING! Sounds like the story changed after the they had to call in 3 cops to subdue 1 man who weighed 150. I'm gay and Id be embarrassed if I had to call 3 cops to help me with a guy who was 150 lbs shy of him having a weapon. This is sad, 3 cops to knock the guy down and split his head to lock him up for Public Intoxication. There cop should be embarrassed.


    To many questions and not enough answers and this things SMELLS BAD! Time for another investigation from the Attorney General. Maybe someone should be talking to Eric Holders Office? Where are the Lesbian and Gay Defenders on this? Don't back down but handle this in a way of class unlike these guys and do us proud Texas.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 30, 2009 11:46:26 AM


  14. uh huh. and we all know that the police NEVER EVER tell lies, right?

    Posted by: alguien | Jun 30, 2009 11:56:34 AM


  15. Join us in letting the Fort Worth Police Department we will not take a breath. Tonight is a great opportunity just to show support.

    Fort Worth Police are having a Community Forum today, June 30th at 7 PM located at New Beginnings International Church.
    2000 E Loop 820, Fort Worth, TX - (817) 492-8540
    If you can, please attend to tell them that we will not tolerate police brutality and discrimination in our community.

    Don't let them scare us back. Push Forward.

    Posted by: Marlin Bynum | Jun 30, 2009 12:13:02 PM


  16. Thanks, Marlin for the head's up.

    I live Fairmount(the gayest area of Fort Worth) and the cops in my neighborhood could not be cooler. This is not at all indicative of the entire police force. Just a couple of cock smooches who need to be forced to swallow clorox.

    Posted by: Blair | Jun 30, 2009 1:57:19 PM


  17. It is just plain disgusting and wrong that this still happens in this country and these cops think they will get away with it. Well I hope they are all sued especially by the injured man!! Please those of you who can, go protest that community day!

    Posted by: Rann | Jun 30, 2009 2:24:00 PM


  18. MARLIN::

    To many questions and not enough answers and this things SMELLS BAD! Time for another investigation from the Attorney General. Maybe someone should be talking to Eric Holders Office? Where are the Lesbian and Gay Defenders on this? Don't back down but handle this in a way of class unlike these guys and do us proud Texas.

    Posted by: Mike | Jun 30, 2009 2:36:00 PM


  19. "Some customers made 'sexually explicit motions,' according to a police statement, and one grabbed an officer’s crotch."

    Uh-huh...because EVERYONE knows them gays can't control themselves and will make a pass at anything in pants.

    At least that's what the cops are hoping "everyone knows."

    Posted by: gerry | Jun 30, 2009 4:35:39 PM


  20. I just arrived home from a community forum that the Fort Worth Police have in their different communities. The Police Chief assured us that the investigation is continuing.

    He also read a press release, which I have not been able to find on the TABC website, that the TABC is also starting an internal investigation.

    He asked two things of the community. 1) That we be patient as he continues the investigation. 2) That if you witnessed anything at the Rainbow Lounge please go to the Police and file a report.

    He assured the community that this was not targeted and that the event was headed by the TABC and not the Fort Worth Police Department.

    I hope that we will soon see results from this. He also said he believes that we need a LGBTQ liason on his staff.

    If and when I can find the press release from TABC I will copy it here.

    Later,

    Marlin

    Posted by: Marlin Bynum | Jun 30, 2009 11:23:48 PM


  21. A straight ally was smart enough to use his iPhone to record some of the conversation tonight concerning the events at Rainbow Lounge and the GLBTQ's concerns. Please feel free to listen in.

    http://tinyurl.com/lh3xqb

    Later,

    Marlin

    Posted by: Marlin Bynum | Jul 1, 2009 12:11:52 AM


  22. Marlin,
    Who is investigating the TABC? The Forthworth Police to NOT have jurisdiction over them so they can't investigate them. Maybe the AG can do that? They can investigate their own but don't be surprised in the end that they won't come up with anything. You should come up with a list of things you want to see out of this: How they Handel future raids etc ask for changes, How about a high ranking official from the State go with them when they do these raids? It sounds like these guys do what ever they want and the public is letting them so now is the time to ask for change. Maybe the bar owners can have a meeting on how the State handles things and hear their complaints and bring them to the Chief. Maybe the Rainbow can host the meeting? I would sit down with someone from the AG's Officer and give them the list of complaints from the bars that way the Department feels they MUST do something because the AG is watching. Best Wishes to ALL! How is the victim doing?

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 1, 2009 9:59:14 AM


  23. I was at the bar the night of the raid and witnessed assaults one after another on bar patrons, but not one on any of the officers. My problem right now is with the police chief. He has gone on record stating he is "happy with the restraint used..." I would like to know how he could be "happy" when that restraint critically injured a bar patron. Further more he is asking witnesses to call an internal affairs line where I have called and been "disconnected" when I stated what my call was about, only to call back and have to leave another message. They are not returning calls. I believe his statement last night was that no one had come forward to make a statement. I know of several that have attempted to make a statement. He did tell me I could come in to make my statement and that he would assign an officer to take it. I just e-mailed him so we will see what he says. I am furious that this has happened, but I am thankful for all of the attention it is getting. I am hoping this will bring about change in my city. Please also know that the FWPD is not corrupt these are just some bad apples that need to be removed!

    Posted by: Christopher | Jul 1, 2009 10:26:02 AM


  24. I just watched a documentary about a group of neo-nazi skinheads who went out gaybashing and 3 guys pushed down 1 gay guy that was smaller than all of them and left him for dead. the only difference between those cowardly thugs and the Fort Worth police is that WE ARE PAYING THEM A SALARY TO DO IT! this is unbelievable. FAGS FIGHT BACK!

    Posted by: Andy | Jul 1, 2009 8:26:38 PM


  25. The TABC goes into bars all the time. They didn't target a gay bar. They were in a bar right before this one that wasn't a gay bar and arrested 9 people. This is not an instance of them targeting a gay bar. I don't agree that they have the authority to arrest people in the bar for public intoxication. But this isn't that they targeted gays. They don't go in and arrest everyone who is drunk, but people who are noticably stumbling or unable to walk or talk because of being intoxicated. They do this to keep them from driving after they leave the bar. Gays should appreciate that, but they want to make a political issue out of it. This article had this guys sister saying "my brother wouldn't do that?" Maybe she doesn't her brother as well as she thought. Kind of like Patrick Kennedy saying "Well, Ted wouldn't leave a woman to drown". BUT HE DID!

    Posted by: Micky | Jul 4, 2009 5:16:54 PM


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