Defendants in Atlanta bar raid found not guilty
Three men who were arrested when police raided an Atlanta gay bar have been found not guilty of breaking licensing laws.
The trio had been accused of dancing naked at the Atlanta Eagle without permits but municipal Judge Crystal Gaines said police had put forward no evidence of this.
The raid happened on Thursday September 10th 2009 after anonymous callers said they had seen drug use and men having sex at the bar.
Charges against five other defendants were dismissed.
Patrons and staff present at the raid have claimed that excessive force was used by officers from the Atlanta Police Department and that they were subjected to homophobic slurs.
During the raid, people were made to lie on the floor for up to two hours while witnesses reported hearing police make comments such as “This is a lot more fun than raiding niggers with crack” and “I hate gay people”.
No evidence of illegal sex or drug use was found.
The patrons and bar staff have launched their own lawsuit, claiming they were victims of discrimination.
It seeks damages and alleges that some officers committed crimes of false imprisonment, assault, battery and trespassing.