Friday, August 7, 2009

Report Says Texas Officers Face 19 Violations, Disciplinary Action for Rainbow Lounge Bar Raid

A report released Thursday states that the two Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officers involved in June's raid on the Fort Worth gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge, face 19 violations for their conduct during the raid.

Agent Christopher Aller and agent trainee Jason Chapman:
  • Failed to gain their supervisor's approval to participate in the raid
  • Failed to report they used force during an arrest
  • Failed to follow bar raid procedures, disrupting business during the raid
  • Failed to wear approved attire.
  • Failed to file a complaint card against Rainbow Lounge
The Dallas Voice has the full report with all violations, which indicates Aller has the most.

The investigation found that one of the agents’ supervisors, Sgt. Terry Parsons, failed to ensure the agents submitted a report on using force during the arrest, did not take appropriate action after learning they didn’t wear proper attire during the raid and did not notify supervisors that multiple arrests had been made that night, the report states.

The officers are on desk duty while disciplinary actions are being decided and Parsons, who has taken full responsibility, has since decided to retire.

Aller and Chapman accompanied six Fort Worth police officers on a raid of the just opened Rainbow Lounge in what police initially billed as a routine liquor license inspection for a new business. The raid led to several arrests and one patron, Chad Gibson, was hospitalized with a severe head injury he suffered while in the agents’ custody, the agency and police have said.

Fort Worth Police Department is still investigating its part of the raid.

"I hope I’m not the scapegoat for some things.  . . . I’ll take the responsibility for the things I did wrong," Aller told investigators. He added that the inspection “had nothing to do with it being a gay bar.”

Chapman, a trainee, told investigators: "We conducted ourselves in a professional manner. We had some hiccups on policy. There’s no two ways about that, and that’s my responsibility."

The report does not address whether the agents used excessive force during the inspection. That investigation is continuing, and the commission will release a report later addressing that issue.

Said state Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth said of the new report: "There were so many violations that one could readily assert that they had no business walking through the door."

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