Rainbow Lounge Raid Inspires Police Improvements

Timothy Kincaid

July 14th, 2009

The raid on the Rainbow Lounge in Ft. Worth, Texas, has yeilded some positives. Inspired by the community outrage, Police Chief Halstead has gone from defending the action as having “restraint” to a finding solutions and preventing further abuse.

From PoliTex:

  • Internal affairs investigators have conducted interviews with 33 attendees at the Rainbow Lounge and expected to complete the investigation in approximately 30 days.
  • The Fort Worth police consider the investigation a priority, taking some internal affairs investigators off other cases to focus on the Rainbow Lounge incident, he said.
  • Halstead expects to update the police department\’s policy regarding bar raids, after taking input from the community.
  • Soon after the incident, Halstead said he decided he needed a police officer to serve as a liaison to the city\’s gay/lesbian/bisexual community, just as the department has people serving in a similar position for other minority communities. Officer Sara Straten, a neighborhood officer in north Fort Worth and 17-year veteran of the department, volunteered for the position.

Meanwhile our community must stay vigilant and follow up to be certain that those who abused their power are held accountable.

Richard W. Fitch

July 14th, 2009

The LGBT community in FW is pushing hard to gain constructive progress from the chain of events surrounding the raid of the Rainbow Lounge. I would encourage readers of BTB to visit their website:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=109253439840
There is a Fort Worth City Council meeting scheduled for tonite, 7/14 @ 7PM CDT, which will include comments by attorney Jon Nelson who has been coordinating the legal affairs for those arrested and/or injured during the “inspection” and for obtaining eyewitness accounts. The story is making its way all over the US, Canada and many locations abroad. You can help in the fight for equality by joining the group and making your concerns known.

deb

July 14th, 2009

How is the man who ended up in the hospital after that raid? Has he recovered?

Richard W. Fitch

July 14th, 2009

I’m trying to get an update from someone in FW. The latest I knew from Sun., he is out of the hospital and recovering slowly at home. It will take 4-6 wks for him to be ready to return to work, and he can anticipate recurring headaches for as long as 2-3 yrs. The blood clot on his brain shows signs of being slowly absorbed. He was interviewed by local TV and shows only vague remnants of the external facial injuries. Whether he will ever recover from the emotional trauma, only time will tell. The group in FW is attending the City Council mtg as I write. Later this evening or tomorrow when they have a chance to post more info, I’ll pass it along

Jason D

July 14th, 2009

progress is a good thing.

Zeke

July 14th, 2009

They might want to start with sitting their officers down and giving them a refresher course on what IS and ISN’T the law in Texas since they don’t seem to know that their city has a law making it illegal to discriminate in service to GLBT people while, at the same time they DO somehow think that sodomy laws and laws against public displays of same-sex affection ARE illegal.

Next, they might want to require some sensitivity and awareness training for their officers who clearly need it.

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