All it took was a Stonewall-style raid on a gay bar, and a few assaults like the one that left Chad Gibson in the hospital, for the Ft. Worth Police Department to change its “failed policy” on bar checks. Indeed!
FWPD chief Jeff Halstead, who previously laid plenty of blame on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, says new guidelines for officers conducting bar checks — which, supposedly, happened to Rainbow Lounge, which was allegedly “overserving” customers — will take effect Sept. 1. So what can citizens expect from the new rules? Halstead told the City Council in a report:
“Under the new policy there will be three distinct differences between an actual bar check, bar inspection, and bar investigation,” he writes.
The chief elaborated on the report during his remarks to the council, referring to a “policy failure,” when it comes to bar checks.
Halstead told the council that bar checks will stay in place, but he described them as a low-key, communications point between officers and bar owners.
If bar checks find problems, he said, the department will progress to a bar inspection, which will be subject to two levels of supervisory review and documented problems.
The bar investigation will be the “strongest form” of policy, he said. Only then would other agencies be involved, and experts would be in charge, he told the council.
The summary also says that joint operations between Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission remain suspended.
Now, where in the new rules does it say any agents or officers involved in a bar raid won’t tell stories about customers groping them so they have an excuse to throw them to the ground?