Alex Blaze

Police trying to close "this fag establishment"

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 05, 2010 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Allen Roskoff, blach, brutality, Chi Chiz, faggot, latino, LGBT, police, race

Usually we have to prove that these gay bar raids happen because of homophobia, and sometimes the cops will just say it themselves.

policephoto.pngChi Chiz, a gay bar in Manhattan directed towards black and latino men, has ben repeatedly raided and cited by police, is being targeted by police who want to see it closed. The day after the bar got raided on March 5th, an undercover cop was spotted (cell phone photo to the right):

According to Roskoff -- who was with Corey Johnson, also a gay activist and the 1st vice chair of Chelsea's Community Board 4 (which does not encompass Christopher Street) -- as they arrived at the club, the young white man was standing outside yelling, "This fag establishment should be closed." When Roskoff and Johnson confronted the man, he responded to each of them, "You're a faggot."

Roskoff said he called 911, at which point the man headed east on Christopher until he arrived at the cigar store at Sheridan Square, where he went inside and changed his clothes, before hailing a cab. At that point, a squad car pulled up and the man was asked to step out of the taxi. The officer at the scene said "Oh, no" when he saw the man, whom he recognized as an undercover in his precinct, according to Roskoff, who said he was interviewed by telephone at 2 a.m. by an NYPD Internal Affairs investigator who had arrived at the Sixth.

They don't know who the police officer was, so they don't know if he actually played a hand in the raid from the previous night. But this much is clear: there's an armed homophobe in NYC who could probably get away with killing a gay person so long as he comes up with some excuse justify it after the fact. That's should be the worst part of the story, but Allen Roskoff has more about why this specific bar is being targeted:

Chi Chiz is being targeted because it is a gay bar with an African-American clientele. The Sixth Precinct is condoning and in effect "resettling" undesirables such as gay black men from our historic home, Christopher Street ("resettling" - where have we heard that before). David Poster, the 72-year-old president of the Christopher Street Patrol has been at the forefront of the fight to rid Christopher Street of people of color for many years. Several years ago he fought to have the liquor license of Two Potato revoked. Mostly black people also frequented Two Potato. The issues revolve around the issue of race, sexual orientation and class. As the late gay activist Bob Kohler is quoted as saying: "They don't want black faces on the street."[...]

[The bar's attorney Tom] Shanahan is considering a federal discrimination suit against the City and New York City Police Department, based upon the outrageous and malicious conduct of targeting Chi Chiz. That should take up a great deal of Mr. Poster's time. Laura M. Mulle, the Agency Attorney for the New York City Police Department's Legal Bureau Civil Enforcement Unit says that the undercover police officer's declaration that this "faggot establishment must be closed" has nothing to do with the city's mad behavior to close it down. Yeah, right. She has taken her drive to close down this "faggot establishment" so personally that when the third judge refused to close them down, she left the court with tears in her eyes.

The police refuse to share the identity of the cop who was making those comments about the bar, most likely because they're protecting their own, as usual. This is generally why police officers shouldn't be allowed to police themselves, and why we should be skeptical about attempts to "clean up" neighborhoods and other spaces - usually we're the ones who need to be cleaned out.

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Isn't David Poster, the "72-year-old president of the Christopher Street Patrol," gay too?

the_czarina the_czarina | April 6, 2010 11:41 PM

being gay doesn't preclude being racist, does it; just as being black and/or latino doesn't preclude being anti-gay.

and WTF are undercover cops wasting their time & our money in gay bars when there is legitimate crime to fight, including congressman felons?

just the musings of a regular reader ~ one of the irregularly str8 ones ~ who has seen it all and wants to shake this country silly until all the empty brains fall out.

One of the things we learn early as POC is that 'Officer Friendly' ain't so friendly to us.