Atlanta Cops Raided The Eagle Because Men Were Allegedly Getting Their Freak On?


It wasn’t drugs that led Atlanta police to raid The Eagle — but public sexing! On two previous occasions, plainclothes cops witnessed patrons of the leather bar having sex with each other, they’ll have you believe. So they ransacked the place, forced everyone to the disgusting floor, and called them faggots while searching ’em.

Even though the original complaints were about drug use at The Eagle, APD now says they were responding to their own investigators’ eye witness accounts of dudes getting it on with other dudes there. This required a raid with nine undercover and 12 uniformed police to conduct “illegal searches” of the 62 patrons. Of course, no drugs were found on anyone, and it doesn’t sound like they caught anyone in flagrante. The bar remains open; the eight employees arrested have pleaded not guilty.

And now comes the shitstorm: Local politicos are calling for an investigation: “State Sen. Kasim Reed and city countil president Lisa Borders, have called for an investigation of the incident. City councilwoman Mary Norwood questioned whether this was the best use of police resources. Jesse Spikes, an attorney, said harassing people and treating them unfairly is not something the APD should be doing.”

Does this mean the cops didn’t witness some homoerotics on previous visits? Maybe they did. We’ve been to plenty of bars where dancers in underwear get groped for tips. Does this count as “men having sex while other patrons watched”? Is that the type of “illegal activity” that required twenty-one of Atlanta’s finest to raid a gay bar, hold patrons hostage for hours while searching them and conducting background checks, just because they were all at the same gay bar? Absolutely not. And the police would be wise to get their story straight: Was it drugs that led them there? Or sex? Because during the hours-long raid, they didn’t find either.

Throw in a paddy-wagon, and we’re dealing with a southern-style Stonewall.

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  • Matt

    My security guard is an off duty APD and we discussed this event this morning. He was telling me that they had gotten complaints from the neighborhood about drugs and sex. I’ve been to the eagle so that’s not too much of a stretch to believe that. So they started investigating months ago. They stopped the investigation because of all the shooting/robberies at Georgia State and Georgia Tech. When those got under control they started working undercover again and witnessed drug use and full blown sex at the bar, not just groping dancers.

    He said as far as the gay slurs go that the raid was done by the department’s Red Dog Unit. He said these guys are all alpha male types who in his mind wouldn’t hesitate to use these slurs. He said that when this unit makes drug bust, after the drug bust are done they will make up probable cause. For example they will say, “When I originally arrested the suspect for littering, I found 10 rocks of crack.”

    So all in all, I think using the slurs were horrible and they should be punished but it’s a bar and not a brothel and people shouldn’t be having gay sex on the back porch where neighbors can see.

  • jason

    In some of these bars, the sex is furtive but nevertheless given the approval of the bar managers. This has to stop. Gay bar managers need to understand that they have to abide by the law. No sex on licensed premises, period.

    I know this may pain those who market sex to the gay community.

  • Chris

    One reason I left Atlanta was because the crime in Midtown had really gotten bad.

    Too bad the police department in Atlanta can’t spend their resources fighting real crime in Atlanta (and there is plenty of it) and not some petty bullshit occuring in a gay bar with like minded people. What a waste, and what a pathetic embarrassment to a Mayor who I at one time had a little respect for when I was in Atlanta.

    Long Live Backstreet –

  • Brian

    Matt’s explanation sounds credible. Shouldn’t there be full, written, detailed time-stamped reports of their months of previous undercover investigations? The Red Dogs belong in the dog house! Also, was there a search warrant and what did it say?

  • James

    As someone that has been to the Eagle many times, sex in the backroom does happen occasionally but not every night. And no, not just simple manhandling with the go-go boys, but sex in a dark room that I’ve stayed out of whenever I’m there. Generally, there is an eclectic group of people just looking to hang out, drink a few beers, check other guys out, dance and have a good time. I’ve never even seen an altercation there, but I’m glad I wasn’t there that Thursday night to be forced to lay on the dirty floors.

  • Jack

    I don’t get it. On previous occasions real, sworn law officers supposedly witnessed alleged illegal acts while on duty but did nothing because they were “undercover.” On Thursday evening, if a law officer witnessed something illegal and called for back-up before making an arrest I could understand it. If things were really out of control, and if there was rampant, ongoing, dangerous illegal activity going on over a period of time investigations would be warranted. During the one or two undercover “visits” the officers could have made a legitimate arrest as the “crime” occured. Word would have spread quickly, and that would have taken care of the “problem.”

    Did they really think they were going to need three paddy wagons?

    This all sounds like bull to me. Complaints by whom? Did the Christian Womens’ Fellowship tour group wander into this bar at midnight by accident? Surely this establishment is not in a residential neighborhood. Sounds like harassment and a waste of municipal resources to me.

  • Matt

    @Jack: It is in a residential neighborhood. There is a condo directly behind it along with 450K plus homes.

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  • Miss Understood

    The worst thing about the progress of gay rights is that we now have a bunch of uptight conservative gays who would have been too scared to be out of the closet 20 years ago.

    While it may be against the law for people to have sex in a bar, the LAW is wrong, not the people having sex. Sex is a mild harmless activity that need not be treated like a dangerous crime.

    Even if we all do agree that they shouldn’t be having sex in a bar the mere fact that anyone here is actually willing to use that as a defense for the violent reaction by the police department is disgraceful! It would not be appropriate if the patrons were having sex and it’s certainly not appropriate for patrons who just happened to be there. It’s worse than inappropriate, it’s criminal! These cops should be in prison. We do not pay police to terrorize citizens!

  • Jack

    Matt, thanks for the correction. As you can tell, I’ve never been to the Eagle. Actually, I’ve never been to Atlanta. The gay establishments (especially leather-type) that I have visited in a handful of cities tended to be in commercial areas, and many of the surrounding business were not even open late night, early morning. I’m amazed that this place is in a residential neighborhood and surrounded by half-million dollar homes. Atlanta must have some interesting zoning ordiances.

  • Paul

    I’m on the fence a little bit. Totally against the APD’s obviously biased anti-gay behavior, but Club Eros and Flex are still open. If you wanna get laid, get laid there. Or Insurrections. etc.

    I suspect these guys are just not able/willing to fork out the money elsewhere, and just wait for the group grope on thurs nights.

    As in other cities, it’s up to the Eagle and it’s owners/employees to comply with the law, like it or not. If you don’t want to do that, then sell/close/move. I certainly would love for the eagle to relocate, as the parking is HORRIBLE there, street crime exists, and I avoid the place now because of those factors.

  • Denjito


  • Abe

    How hard is this?

    If you don’t like gambling, don’t go to casinos.
    If you don’t like dancing, don’t go to dance clubs.
    If you don’t like sports, don’t go to sports bars.
    If you don’t like cigars, don’t go to cigar bars.

    If you don’t like what mutually-consenting adults do within the walls of a leather theme bar, don’t go to places like the Eagle.

    Live and Let Live!

  • Bruce

    The Eagle has been there for over 20 years. When it opened the neighborhood was overwhelmingly gay and not NEAR that nice! I have to agree that IF the undercover officers saw something it would have been FAR mor effective, to the point, and practical to arrest the guilty party right there and then. They let it go because they didn’t care about an arrest. They were setting up an excuse to terrorize the patrons of the bar!

    The fact that Inserection is there…so that MARRIED STRAIGHT men can get a blow job on the downlow, and it hasn’t been closed down only exposes the hypocrisy of the situation. They won’t throw those people on the floor because one of them would probably be on the city cousel, or the Mayor’s staff. Nobody who goes to the Eagle is shocked by what goes on there. The City has long allowed public sex to take place until there is some convenient profit to be gained by cracking down on it.

    Before the Eagle opened, Atlanta’s leather bar was the Texas Drilling Company, at the intersection of Virginia and Highland back before the houses in that neighborhood were worth 500,000 each. Now it seems Midtown is too swank for a leatherbar, too.

  • Phoenix (Still Fabulous and Anarchist, Bitches)

    Rainbow Lounge, Part Deux.

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