Report: Staff, Patrons Arrested in Raid of Atlanta Eagle Gay Bar
In a story eerily reminiscent of the June raid on the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth, Texas, Atlanta police reportedly raided the Atlanta Eagle gay bar last night. Mattthew Cardinale, a news editor for Atlanta Progressive News, filed a report:
"About ten police cars and about 15 cops raided the bar, allegedly looking for drugs. However, the police were said to have ordered all patrons to get on the ground--including patrons who were just dancing or standing at the bar--and numerous patrons said people were handcuffed indiscriminately. Bar patrons were furious at the aggressive and indiscriminate treatment and called the incident 'harassment.' Patrons also stated that at least three undercover cops were present. One patron stated he knew this because he saw the undercover police first without their badges, mingling with the crowds, and then again with their badges on...According to one patron, APD handcuffed all Eagle staff members and dancers, patrons in a leather shop, and anyone who was wearing only underwear; Thursday is advertised as underwear night."
Cardinale also received an email from a patron who was there: “My roommate and I were there for the police raid at the Eagle on September 10, 2009. We had arrived about 20 minutes before the raid took place. Everyone was ordered to get on their stomachs and face down during this ordeal. As far as I could tell everyone was searched at least once, most of us twice. Most, but not all, of the officers were incredibly derogatory and insulting whether they found evidence of drugs or not,” Alan Vives wrote in an email to APN."