What with bloggers buzzing all over the story yesterday, seems like Atlanta's Pride Committee finally decided to do the right thing.
Officer Harris will be marching in civilian clothes
I'll be blogging more about this story this week and its significance to BDSMers. Suffice to say, the Eagle was one of my favorite clubs during the 12 years we lived in Atlanta. I have all good memories of the bar, its staff, its parties, its fund-raisers and educational events, and especially all the incredible support they've offered the pansexual BDSM community in Atlanta over the years.
I strongly believe that the Atlanta PD went after them because they are a perceived weak link in world of sexual politics. Nobody ever wants to stand up and defend the rights of leather people to congregate -- except for leather people, and even then, it's amazing how empty a room can be when it's about politics instead of play-time. This is the Eagle's time of need and they deserve our support.
Here is a copy of the letter Atlanta Eagle Co-Owner Robby Kelley wrote yesterday to the Atlanta Pride Committee.
To the Atlanta Pride Committee:
As a person who was held on the floor of the Atlanta Eagle, I would like to request that Officer Harris walk in the Pride Parde in her street clothes and not her Atlanta Police uniform. After coming out and saying that APD did nothing wrong, I feel this would be an injustice to our community. As a person taken to jail I find this offensive. Most of you do not know the true horror that we went through that night and that uniform represents all of it.
To see gay men kicked, hit, and searched with no reason is wrong, and to be made to lay face-down in the floor, and have the officers hi-five each other like it's a party is wrong. To have them say "this was fun we should do this to a fag bar every week" is wrong. And having Officer Harris in her uniform saying that it's OK is wrong.
If Officer Harris chooses not to be there in her street clothes, so be it, but that will be something she chooses to do. After being released from jail she was one of the first persons we a saw. She apologized for their actions and then got up and told everyone it was OK. Please.