Current Affairs

Texas police to revise policies after gay bar raid

Jessica Geen August 19, 2009
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The chief of Fort Worth Police has said he is revising the force’s policies after a controversial raid on a gay bar.

One man was hospitalised with a head injury in the raid on the Rainbow Lounge, which happened on June 28th, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Several police officers are now facing allegations of wrongdoing.

Speaking yesterday to a city council meeting, police chief Jeff Halstead said the raid had happened because his department did not have specific guidelines to direct the behaviour of officers.

According to Associated Press, he added that a revised policy was due to be in place by September 1st.

The bar was raided by six police officers and two officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) after patrons had reportedly been seen drunk several days before.

Customers said they had been harassed and undue force had been used, while some gay activists have claimed the raid was straightforward discrimination. A number of protests have been held since the raid.

In response, Fort Worth Police has appointed a liaison officer and improved diversity training.

Halstead said a final report is expected in September or October, which will determine whether officers used excessive force and unprofessional conduct and whether disciplinary action is necessary.

A TABC report has already found that its agents did not get approval for the raid and did not tell their supervisor that one man, Chad Gibson, was severely injured.

Gibson was in hospital for a week and says he was left with a blood clot behind his eye.

Related topics: Americas

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