Alex Blaze

Atlanta settles with Eagle patrons for illegal gay bar raid

Filed By Alex Blaze | December 07, 2010 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

I'm surprised by this development. I really thought they would just run this thing atlanta_eagle_cropped.jpgthrough the legal system and appeal for years until everyone just lost interest. But Atlanta has settled with the Eagle's patrons who were illegally detained and searched in a gay bar raid over a year ago that found nothing:

The city has agreed to pay $1 million to an Atlanta gay bar to settle a lawsuit over a botched police raid in 2009.

The Atlanta City Council voted 14-0 on Monday to pay the money to the Atlanta Eagle Bar. A national gay rights group filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of 19 people who say they were illegally searched and detained during Sept. 10, 2009 raid.

The city also agreed to oversee reforms within the Atlanta Police Department. The settlement must now go back to a federal judge for final approval.

Ft. Worth, as far as I know, hasn't done much other than release self-investigations that predictably let the police off the hook. So good on Atlanta for realizing what they did wrong. I hope the properly punish the person or change the policy that cost them a million dollars.

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The new Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed is very gay-supportive, spending time with us at Pride and was at the TDOR event in 2009 before becoming Mayor. He wanted this settled.

(He knows my name and gives me a hug when he sees me.)


This story has a certain iceberg like quality in that 90% of it is underwater. There is an "elephant in the tent" that they are pretending to ignore. This is Dani Lee Harris, who was the Atlanta PD GL liaison officer at the time of the raid and has since been arbitrarily and illegally isolated from her official position.

This is a very complex story involving anti-intersex prejudice and unmitigated pseudo-christian bigotry in the heart of Atlanta city government and the internal operations of its police department. This is an opportunity for signification investigative journalism.

Dani Lee Harris was present at Southern Comfort this year and made a very clear, explicit, and personal presentation of her conflict with the spiritual and psychological rot at the heart of the Atlanta PD and city government. You can google Dani Lee Harris for a great deal of background, but you will not find much about the realities of which she spoke at Southern Comfort.

Perhaps she deserves for her own voice to be heard among all those who would presume to speak about that of which they know nothing.

It's still too little, but better than nothing.