Ft. Worth Police Change “Failed” Policy In Response To Rainbow Lounge Raid

Jim Burroway

August 21st, 2009

Ft. Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead blamed a “policy failure” for the June 28 raid on the Rainbow Lounge. That raid, conducted in conjunction with agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, resulted in allegations of excessive force and landed one patron in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital with brain injuries.

Chief Halstead, in a brief to the city council earlier this week, said that an investigation into the raid is continuing, but he is already committed to making several policy changes without waiting for the investigation to finish:

“Under the new policy there will be three distinct differences between an actual bar check, bar inspection, and bar investigation,” he writes.

…Halstead told the council that bar checks will stay in place, but he described them as a low-key, communications point between officers and bar owners.

If bar checks find problems, he said, the department will progress to a bar inspection, which will be subject to two levels of supervisory review and documented problems.

The bar investigation will be the “strongest form” of policy, he said. Only then would other agencies be involved, and experts would be in charge, he told the council.

Halstead also said that joint operations between Ft. Worth police and TABC remain suspended.

A similar investigation by the TABC revealed nineteen state policy violations. TABC administrator Alan Steen publicly apologized, saying his agents failed to “follow the damn policy.”

Richard W. Fitch

August 21st, 2009

So far both FWPD and TABC have only found fault with policy and not with official (mis)conduct. Chief Halstead legally has until Dec to complete his report and then the FWPD union has another six months to respond. Halstead has ‘promised’ to make the report available to the public before that interval; only time will tell. At this stage there have been no comments on the status of the TABC report regarding excessive force. Until all these four reports are public and the allotted time allowed for rebuttal, there can be no action from the FBI or other federal agencies regarding violations of civil rights. Bottom line: it could be another year before this runs its course.

Lindoro Almaviva

August 21st, 2009

I will bet my jewels that if this had been a cop who got injured the investigation would already be done and arrests made.

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