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04/19/2007


Fort Worth Rainbow Lounge Patrons Settle Case Over 2009 Raid

Rainbow

Two bar patrons hurt during a 2009 raid on the Rainbow Lounge on the anniversary of New York's Stonewall riots, have settled with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Star-Telegram reports:

Gibson The state agreed to pay $210,000 to Chad Gibson (pictured), who suffered a head injury, and $15,000 to George Armstrong, who suffered a torn rotator cuff, during their arrests June 28, 2009, at the gay bar.

The arrests came as agents from the beverage commission and Fort Worth police officers conducted a joint inspection at the bar.

As part of the settlement, Gibson and Armstrong agreed not to sue the agency or anyone connected to it, or the two agents and supervisor involved in the incident. In a settlement with the city this year, Gibson was awarded $400,000 and Armstrong $40,000.

Said attorney for the men Don Tittle: "I think they feel that they received a level of justice, although it was slow. The monetary compensation was fair, but I think it was important to both of them that there be change within both organizations. As a result of the incident, both Fort Worth and TABC have taken affirmative steps to improve relations and to be more sensitive to diversity."


Fort Worth to Pay $400,000 to Gay Man Injured in 2009 Raid on Rainbow Lounge Nightclub

Rainbow

The City of Fort Worth will pay $400,000 to a gay man injured during a June 2009 police raid on the city's Rainbow Lounge, which coincidentally occurred on the 40th anniversary of the raid on NYC's Stonewall Inn.

Chadgibson Seven people were arrested for public intoxication, and one man, Chad Gibson, sustained brain injuries due to the unnecessary force used by Fort Worth police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents during the raid.

The AP reports:

"The city has said the settlement of is not any admission of liability but avoids time-consuming and costly litigation. Two agents and a supervisor with the state's liquor board were later fired, and three Fort Worth police officers were suspended. Both agencies determined no excessive force was used. The state liquor board says it's also considering settling with Gibson the separate claims he filed against that agency."


Man Injured In Rainbow Lounge Raid Offered Settlement

A patron at the Raindbow Lounge in Fort Worth who suffered brain injuries during an outrageous raid of the bar in 2009 has agreed to settle his lawsuit against the city for $400,000. According to The Star-Telegram, the amount to offered to Chad Gibson must be be approved by the City Council on Tuesday.

Chad"'In light of the circumstances, city staff believes proceeding with this settlement is the right thing to do, not only to bring closure to those involved but also to prevent lengthy and even more costly litigation,' Jason Lamers, a city spokesman, said Friday."

"Lamers said the city has also agreed to pay $40,000 to another patron, George Armstrong, who said he suffered a torn rotator cuff during his arrest for public intoxication at the bar. Because the settlement is for under $50,000, council authorization is not needed, he said. Don Tittle, the civil attorney for Gibson and Armstrong, said all parties have worked together for months to reach a resolution without a lawsuit."

After the raid, Gibson and three other patrons had been charged with public intoxication. It took the city more than a year to drop charges for all four.

Wacth a news clip from WFAA, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Man Injured In Rainbow Lounge Raid Offered Settlement" »


Fort Worth Police Chief Fights Bias-Based Policing

ChiefHalstead The police in Fort Worth, TX, continue taking steps toward a more inclusive city.

Yesterday, a little over 18 months after his force raided a gay bar, Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead announced the implementation of a new policy barring "bias-based policing," including LGBT biases.

The policy reads:


Officers shall not use race, color, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, economic status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, membership in a cultural group or an individual’s ability/inability to speak English as the criteria for determining when or how to take enforcement action or provide police services.


Halstead told the Dallas Voice that the rule "incorporates language located throughout departmental General Orders and consolidates it into one succinct order that clearly defines what bias-based policing means and strictly prohibits it."

While the Fort Worth police were criticized for the 2009 raid on Rainbow Lounge, Halstead explained that the policy was not a reaction to any specific event. It's simply "a proactive step to continue building trust in the community, which is essential for public and officer safety.”

In addition to the bias-based prohibitions, the force has started planning an alert program for hate and bias crime reports. "We are looking to begin tracking 'bias' incidents, meaning that if any actions or statements are made as a part of a crime, but the crime itself does not meet the criteria of a hate crime, we want to be able to track those as 'bias incidents,'" said Halstead, who worked to rebuild relations between LGBT communities and coppers after the raid.

Apparently Halstead's efforts are paying off, because local LGBT leader Jon Nelson praised the chief's progress: "We didn’t discuss this with him. Nobody pressured him to do this. He did it on his own."

He continued, "[The policy is] as clear as it can be. It puts his employees on notice: they have to act without bias, and there are specific ramifications if they fail in that. I say, good for him.”


Charges Against Victims Of Gay Bar Raid Dropped

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It took awhile but prosecutors have finally dropped charges against two men who were injured in the June 2009 raid of the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth. Prosecutors decided to pursue charges against the two this past February, eight months after the raid. Public intoxication charges against two other men were also dropped:

The dismissals came 2 ½ weeks before Chad Gibson, who suffered a head injury in the June 2009 incident, and George Armstrong had been set to go to trial on public intoxication charges. Both had pleaded not guilty, and Gibson also pleaded not guilty to assaulting a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agent.

In a prepared statement released Friday, city spokesman Jason Lamers confirmed that the Class C misdemeanor charges against Gibson and Armstrong were dropped Thursday.

Public intoxication cases against Dylan Brown, 24, and Jose Macias, 32, also were dropped.

"As it is our official policy not to discuss municipal court prosecutions or litigation, the city will have no further comment," Lamers said. Adam Seidel, criminal defense attorney for Gibson and Armstrong, said he had received the news of the dismissals Thursday afternoon in a courtesy call from a court clerk. "Their words early on were that serious mistakes were made by law enforcement and the city wanted to learn from those mistakes and move forward," Seidel said. "I guess finally the actions are matching the words."

As Andy noted earlier this year, a documentary about the raid is currently being produced. Raid of the Rainbow Lounge is currently seeking more funding in order to get it completed, but the filmmakers have put together a teaser trailer. In case you missed it, you can watch it, AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Charges Against Victims Of Gay Bar Raid Dropped" »


Radio Jock Attacks Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

ChrisYou'd be hard-pressed to find anyone not touched by Joel Burns' anti-bullying speech during a Fort Worth City Council meeting last month. But at least one person wasn't: KLIF radio jock Chris Krok. His reaction was the exact opposite, actually.

The day after Burns' plea to bullied LGBT youth, Krok took to the airwaves to bash him mocking the gay city councilman with a lisp, calling him selfish and playing down gay teen suicide by outrageously claiming that not one gay kid in Forth Worth has committed suicide. The DJ is also upset with the fact that Burns referred to his partner as husband and asks Burns to "stop lying" about being married.

Krok is exactly the kind of the bully that Burns is trying to protect LGBT youth from. Listen to the rant, AFTER THE JUMP.

The station's contact information is below:

Talk Radio 570 KLIF

3500 Maple Avenue 16th Floor

Dallas, TX 75219

214-526-2400

Program Director: paul@klif.com

Chris Krok Show: chris.Afternoons@cumulus.com

Continue reading "Radio Jock Attacks Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns" »


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