Those furious over the Atlanta Police Department’s weekend raid of leather bar The Eagle had it out with the City Council yesterday, going on and on about how 62 people who just wanted to get their drink on while looking at cuties walking around in underwear had their civil liberties trampled on. Horrors!
It went like this:
Supporters of the bar and its patrons were pissed. Not only because of the raid, but because the cops WERE ABSOLUTE ASSHOLES. Here’s Laura Gentle: “The civil liberties of 62 patrons were broke. They [the APD] have failed to make the connection to what led to the raid to what those were arrested for. We need answers as a community.” Said another concerned citizen: “Why can’t they do it in a more civil manor? We’re the city too busy to hate. Why can’t they do it in a different way?”
But the cops were there too. And while cordial, they weren’t about to readily take the fall. APD Deputy Chief Carlos Banda was all (and we’re paraphrasing), Look, we had reports about illegal activity, we went in to investigate, witnessed the alleged behavior, and decided to raid the place, just like we did to a half dozen other (non-gay, mostly strip) clubs over the past few months.
And then there was The Eagle’s co-owner Richard Ramey. His story went like this: The police are lying! They didn’t find anything! Liars! Pants on fire!
An attorney for the patron was there: Constitutional rights. Violated!
Well. Then. The cops want six months to investigate. The locals want that timeline shortened.
Meanwhile, the two crime tips that initiated the APD’s involvement, reported by the Southern Voice, indicate a spurned customer or employee — or at least someone with intimate knowledge of the goings-on there — was the one hollering to the 5-0 about The Eagle.
According to the July 1 anonymous Crime Stoppers tip sent via the web, the complainant said the club was closing July 5 at 3 a.m. and would reopen at 3:15 a.m. for an after hours party to benefit the Southern Bears.
“They have hired nude dancers to dance on the bars; sex will be permitted as at most circuit parties, drugs will be sold freely. They plan on using the back entrance for admission that is located off the rear patio. They will be running a shuttle bus to and from the host hotel which is the Courtyard Marriott Northlake on Lavista Road in Tucker, GA,” the tipster states. Included in the tip is co-owner Robby Kelley’s alleged profile on Bear411.com.
The other tip, sent May 19 via email to Mayor Shirley Franklin as well as to TV news tip hotlines for WSB-TV, Fox Atlanta news and 11 Alive news, states:
“Mayor Franklin: The Atlanta Eagle, a bar that is situated next to one of your old campaign offices, continues to have sex parties on Thursday nights that spills out into the neighborhood. Witnesses (including myself) in the neighborhood have seen men in various stages of undress performing sexual acts on each other including oral and anal sex. Mayor Franklin, your assistance in this matter is desperately needed as people in this neighborhood are concerned about the neighborhood being turned into a brothel,” the complainant stated.
“Bags of what appears to be drug residue are found strewn around a one block radius of the bar and drunk bar patrons scream and create disturbances. The neighbors that I have spoken to are scared to report anything as the bar owner has been known to retaliate against neighbors by pointing speakers with sounds of men having sex and blasting it to the residential building next to the bar … the neighborhood is extremely fed up with this situation.”
Or maybe it’s this guy:
Steve Gower, who is gay and a member of the Midtown Ponce Security Association, is known for policing Midtown and posting videos of alleged transgender prostitutes on YouTube. He stated the MPSA has never had a problem with the Atlanta Eagle as long as he has been a member.
Or maybe it was god, who finally got a Gmail account.