Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ft. Worth Police Chief Praises Officers' Restraint in Gay Bar Raid; Candlelight Vigil Tonight for Injured Patron

Today, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead responded to criticisms that last Saturday night's violent raid on the gay bar Rainbow Lounge, which fell on the 40th anniversary of Stonewall and landed one of the patrons in the hospital with bleeding in the brain, was justified:
Monday, police chief Jeff Halstead said the officers' actions are being investigated. However, he also said that officers that entered the bar during the scheduled inspection were touched inappropriately.

"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."
(View news report.)

Eyewitnesses dispute this account.

Dan Savage has angrily responded, voicing the homophobia behind the quote:
"Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."
Chad Gibson, the 26-year-old gay man, who was violently pushed against a wall and banged his head leaving a dent, is now in the hospital with a life-threatening blood clot in his brain.

ACTION: A candlelight vigil is being held tonight in front of the Rainbow Lounge in Chad's honor at 8:30pm CT.

Equality Texas has issued an urgent action call for people to sign a petition demanding an investigation into the Rainbow Lounge bar raid.

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