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Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas apologises for raid on gay bar

Jessica Geen July 15, 2009
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The mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, has apologised for a raid in a gay bar on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

The Rainbow Lounge on Jennings Avenue was raided by police on Saturday June 27th.

While police said it was a routine bar inspection, patrons said they had used excessive force and aggression to arrest seven drinkers.

One man was hospitalised with a serious head injury and others denied having groped officers.

At a city council meeting last night, mayor Mike Moncrief responded to calls from activists for recognition of what had happened.

Moncrief said: “If you want an apology from the mayor of Fort Worth: I am sorry about what happened in Fort Worth.” His admission was met with a standing ovation.

More than 250 people crammed into the council chambers, while another 150 watched proceedings on screens outside.

Several members of a gay group were escorted out of the building for shouting out, although Moncrief later allowed public discussion before the agenda was over.

The Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission and the police have not yet finished investigations into the raid, although the mayor said he was asking the US Attorney’s Office to review the department’s findings.

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