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Atlanta Fired Six Eagle Raid Cops For Lying, Not For Illegally Harassing Queers

Image via Project Atlanta Q

In 2009, Atlanta’s SWAT-style cops on their vice squad and now-disbanded Red Dog team raided the Atlanta Eagle gay bar without a warrant, handcuffed and forced about 62 innocent customers to lie face-down on a floor covered with spilled beer, dirt, and broken glass, and then illegally searched and confiscated ID from these men without initially making any charges or arrests.

In the two years that followed, the dancers originally charged with “lewd conduct” had the charges against them dropped, the city begrudgingly paid out over $1 million in a federal human rights lawsuit to the abused patrons, and an internal investigation discovered the involved officers lying and trying to destroy evidence (like e-mails, text messages, and photos) about their wrongdoing.

Well finally, an investigative team of lawyers has said that at least 10 officers lied about the raid. The force has fired six of those officers with more possible firings to come. The only downsides: the owner of the bar (who lost his house and suffered financial loss due to the raid) has gotten jack squat in terms of re-compensation. And the officers weren’t fired because of their behavior during the raid but because of their actions during the investigation.

So… raiding a gay bar and treating its innocent patrons like shit: totally OK. Lying about it: sorta bad.

On:           Jul 11, 2011
Tagged: , ,
    • Jason

      OMG, YES!!! FOR LYING!!! Heard of reasonable doubt? Cops who are caught lying don’t get to stay cops because juries won’t trust them. Is truthfulness so unimportant in journalism these days?

      This is a GOOD outcome. We don’t need their balls in a glass jar, we just need their badge.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Abirdwillingtobeitself

      “…and an internal investigation discovered the involved officers lying and trying to destroy evidence (like e-mails, text messages, and photos) about their wrongdoing.”

      Cops will be cops.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • umfofo


      this is Georgia we’re talking about, they still hate black people let alone gays

      Jul 11, 2011 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve

      A charge of lying under oath is much easier to prove, and just as effective at ending a bad cops career, as any of the more serious charges. The officers lose their licenses, and no one will hire them as police officers ever again. From the cities perspective, that charge also avoids airing a bunch of other laundry that could be used against the city in civil suits.

      I am sure the city would plea-bargain those charges all the way down to fourth-degree misdemeanor jaywalking, if the prosecutor thought for a minute that they could get away with it. That they chose to prosecute a charge that will end the officers career, says something.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard

      @Steve: “…no one will hire them as police officers ever again.”

      Baloney. They’ll get hired by the next municipality over, or the sheriff’s department, or a private security firm.

      Jul 11, 2011 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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