Bil Browning

Atlanta: Eagle patrons sue city & top cops hit the door

Filed By Bil Browning | November 25, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Eagle, gay rights, LGBT community, police brutality, police chief, police raids of gay bars, resignations

Granted, this is pure conjecture on my part, but I'm not a big believer in coincidences. If any Atlanta readers have the inside scoop, let me know...

City of AtlantaIn an earlier Journal-Constitution article about the raid on the Atlanta Eagle, they noted how seriously politicians and mayoral candidates were taking the LGBT community's demands.

The quick responses to the raid highlight the increasingly fierce battle among the candidates for votes from Atlanta's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Some estimate 15 percent of Atlanta residents are LGBT, and which way they vote could ultimately decide who becomes the city's 59th mayor.

Yesterday, it was announced that 19 Eagle bar patrons were filing a federal lawsuit against Atlanta almost 50 police officers. A couple of hours later, both Police Chief Richard Pennington and his Assistant resigned.

Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington and Assistant Chief Alan Dreher announced today that they will resign from their post in the next two weeks.

Mayor Shirley Franklin accepted their resignation and thanked them for their hard work.

Whattaya think? Co-inky-dink?


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No and yes. The Chief see the handwriting on the wall. He knows that no matter who is the next mayor, he will not have a job. He's just getting a jump on it to move to another city as the new year starts.

Of course, he also doesn't want the Eagle issue resolved on his watch. He'll tell you the first answer, but will never admit to this part.

It just proves yet again what some of us have been saying for a very long time. Quiet, polite entreaties and begging get us nowhere with these people.

The lesson to be learned here and applied elsewhere is that we should never count on politicians to fulfill their promises to our community. We have been taught repeatedly that the only reliable way to ensure the votes of cowardly elected officials is to go for blood every single time. We must make sure that the price for failing to stand up for equality will be far greater than the price for supporting it.

In short, when these pols fail us we have to run alternative candidates against them, even if we must do it without a lot of financial or popular support. We have to use our grassroots power to turn support away from these cowards and towards those who will fight for true equality for all Americans.

Yes, we will lose, a lot. But then so will they, and if it happens enough then sooner or later they'll finally get the message that we demand much more from those who call themselves "liberals" and "Democrats" if they're to earn our support.

Rebecca why not include Conservatives (Republicans)responsible as well? If one looks at the meaning of the word Conservative it's not hard to see those who claim it now only do so to mock it.Barry Goldwater broke from the religious right as any true conservative would and should, recognize there's a difference and support the true Conservative as they support us.

I don't understand why the discussion was changed to focus on politicians? The Chief of Police is not an elected official. He was appointed by the Mayor, a liberal Mayor. The Mayor has future plans in politics, so the Eagle issue belonged to the Chief. And, the Chief doesn't want to soil his hands before moving on. this means the new Mayor will have to appoint a new Chief and insist they make the Eagle problem go away, and quickly. Both of the candidates have plans on doing just that. The new mayor takes office in Jan.