Alex Blaze

Thank GOD police didn't use excessive force at the Rainbow Lounge in Ft. Worth, Texas

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 06, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: alcohol, bar raid, Fort Worth, homophobic behavior, police violence, rainbow lounge, stonewall, Texas, texas abc

The police came out with their internal investigation of their raid on a Ft. Worth gay bar, and I for one am grateful for the results: they didn't use excessive force in the raid.

chadgibson.jpgThe only thing police did wrong was not file paperwork quickly enough:

The long-awaited 1,000-page report is expected to fault officers for not writing a timely report on the June 28 raid of the Rainbow Lounge, but conclude officers did not use excessive force or violate other operational policies.

Officers are supposed to write reports by the end of every shift, but in this case the officer waited until the next day - after gay groups had launched protests, police said.

Chief Jeffrey Halstead was also set to announce Thursday if any of the officers will be disciplined.

Halstead has told city officials none of the officers will be fired but at least one may receive written reprimands or short suspensions, the officials said.

And, in this report, we find out that Chad Gibson, who was hospitalized for a week following the raid due to brain injury, wasn't bashed by police. He just fell down because he was drunk!

One customer, Chad Gibson, received a serious head injury and was hospitalized for a week.

Investigators concluded he was extremely drunk and hit his head when he fell outside while vomiting, not in an initial scuffle with officers inside the bar.

He's just clumsy like that, haha. You know Chad, always going to the hospital because he falls down. Guess he'll learn his lesson this time!

Also, it's obvious no homophobia was involved because the police raided two other bars that night. I'm relieved, because no homophobe would ever say that they're not homophobic!

The officers involved in the Fort Worth raid had no idea about the significance of the day in the gay community and did not target the bar because it catered to gay clientele, police have said. They also made arrests in two Latino bars earlier that night.

You see, it's equal opportunity bar raiding. As long as more straight bars than gay bars are raided, then there's no homophobia involved. And as long as they raid a gay bar or two, then there's no racism involved in their raids on Latino bars.

But, seriously, this is a joke. The police can't investigate themselves. Do we let bank robbers investigate their own crimes? Do we take anyone's word at face value when they say they didn't do something they were accused of doing?

The police say they're going to implement some changes:

The uproar led police to change the department's policy on bar inspections, requiring officers to get supervisor approval and document a history of problems. The Rainbow Lounge was celebrating its grand opening.

OMG they let police officers raid bars in Ft. Worth without permission from anyone or without saying why they want to do it.

They're changing the policy now, but, um, why was that their policy in the first place? A bar raid is a big event and usually violent - shouldn't they have to at least say why they're doing it? Isn't that just common sense?

Not that it would change anything. The Rainbow Lounge was just opening, so it couldn't have a history of problems. It still seems like police officers wanted to beat up some fags so they headed down to the Rainbow Lounge.

The only thing that would change people's opinions on this raid would be a formal, independent, and honest investigation. So far, that hasn't happened in Ft. Worth.

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Chad Gibson was beat down, but not by Ft Worth Officers--by TABC officers.

However, its so nice of the FWPD to excuse and forgive themselves. I hope they accept the pat on the back from themselves graciously and never forget that the FWPD did for the FWPD by going so easy on them.

Does it mess with anyone else's head from Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin that the homophobic Chief's name is "Halstead?" It really screws with mine.

It's incidents like this that remind me not to trust the police further than I can throw a patrol car.

I'm surprised they didn't use the "He walked into a door" excuse.


Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 6, 2009 2:30 PM

The cops involved, no matter what agency they came from, should be arrested by the FBI and held without bail until they can be indicted by the US DoJ on charges that they carried out a terrorist attack on US citizens or, in the case of the FWPD were accessories who stood by and watched American citizens being beaten by christian terrorists.

That won't happen because their boss is Obama.

But would it most assuredly happen if GLBT folks tore into a church some Sunday and beat some cultists unmercifully?

You betcha.

No Bill, it won't happen because their real boss is Rick Perry.

I mean, c'mon Bill...we all know you hate Obama, but at least make a realistic attempt to place blame, unless of course you really think the POTUS is directing the actions of local cops in Texas.

Obama's hardly perfect to be sure, but he's the President, not a super-villain.

Get real, man.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 6, 2009 3:43 PM

So you're saying that Obama is not President, that he doesn't run the FBI and the DoJ? You're wrong about that.

I don't hate Obama. I despise him for the same reasons I despise the Clintons and the Bushes. All of them promote bigotry, all of them are lap dogs or the rich and all of them happily spend the lives of civilians and US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They're despicable.

Get some principles, Rebecca.

People who are for working people, against war and against homohating don't vote for 'gawd's in the mix' or any Democrat or Republican.

So you're saying Obama somehow controls the actions of the Fort Worth Police Dept. and instigated this raid? Is that really what you're arguing?

I'm sure we can find you a tin foil hat somewhere to match your rationale.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 6, 2009 4:23 PM

I don't understand why you asked if I think that Obama controls the FWPD as if that had any bearing on what I said.

The cops from the FWPD and the alcohol cops need to be investigated by another source besides themselves. And that's why I said "The cops involved, no matter what agency they came from, should be arrested by the FBI and held without bail until they can be indicted by the US DoJ on charges that they carried out a terrorist attack on US citizens or, in the case of the FWPD were accessories who stood by and watched American citizens being beaten by christian terrorists."

You do get it that the FBI and the DoJ are federal, not Fort Worth agencies, don't you?

Calling for an investigation by the feds is perfectly understandable and in the best interests of justice. But as I said, with a bigot in the White House that won't happen. Remember this is the same guy who invited the bigot cop from Cambridge to the WH for beer instead of ordering a federal investigation of racism in the Cambridge PD.

People who voted for Obama voted for war, for the looter class, and for bigotry. That's unprincipled.

And you automatically presume that there will be no federal investigation? Based on what exactly? Personally, until I hear something about it in the media I have no idea what the FBI or DOJ will or won't do in regard to this case, and I bet you don't either.

It seems to me, Bill, that you're making presumptions based on zero evidence and calling out the Obama Administration for something you have no idea if they're guilty of or not.

And that, Bill, is truly unprincipled.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | November 6, 2009 5:14 PM

Well, that's some progress.

Now we both identify the FBI and DoJ as federal agencies. That means that I and other activists can continue to demand that they arrest and indict the TABC thugs and the cops who stood around they terrorized American citizens. And add a bit to their sentences since it was clearly a hate crime.

And after a while, when Obama, the FBI and the DoJ do nothing, we'll know the score and it'll be another reason to vote against him and against any Democrat or Republican.

In the meantime feel free to continue making up excuses for the Bigot in Chief in the WH.

With Democrats like this who needs Republicans?

1. I find it disturbing that they don't plan out a raid where anything can happen. It’s a major safety issue for all if the cops enter an establishment where they're aware that illegal activates are reported and to be on going anything can happen. Bars are known to have people that have been drinking and those individuals require extra care because they do fall down. It happens. For them to have no plans, no back up, no EMT standing by is stupid from a professional stand point. The entire fiasco was unprofessional.

1a. Making the statement “he fell down” is moot. Once you put hands on him, he was in your care and YOU are responsible! Own up to it, don’t make a lame ass excuse. Also trying to prove that his injury was when he fell down or when he was taken down without a doctor and an cat scan at the scene is a bit of a stretch.

2. I find it disturbing that 2 Latino bars and a gay bar were the only bars targeted. Both establishments have clientele that are known to be wary of police. They’re wary for a reason. Question: How many bars were raided in the past year? What were the demographics of those bars? Gay, Lesbian, Latino, Black and W.A.S.P? I have a feeling that they target the minority bars far greater than the W.A.S.P. bars.

3. Allowing any organization to police itself is a good way to see someone fall over themselves trying not to look bad to anyone else. I’m surprised they even commented on the late filing of the report. The end result is a white wash of the incident.

4. The policemen and officers that participated in this incident got off. I don’t like that. If it would have happened this week I’m sure the Sheppard/Byrd Hate Crime Act would come in to play. I hope someone there that does understand that fact explains it to them. Slowly and very loudly so they understand. We’re citizens, not victims.

I was thinking about the Sheppard/Byrd Hate Crime Act as well. I don't know the details of the law, but I wouldn't be surprised if it applied here despite the timing issues. At least the part I care about concerns distribution of resources, so it wouldn't matter what kind of crime it was considered when it was committed. What matters is that the local authorities are unable or unwilling to investigate the matter themselves.