Two LGBT activists were asked to leave today's Atlanta Police Foundation's "Crime is Toast" breakfast featuring Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner after they held up protest signs about the Eagle raid at the beginning of the mayor's speech.
Art Izzard and Laura Gentle of the Queer Justice League were asked to leave the annual meeting held today at the World Congress Center after they stood up at the beginning of Mayor Reed's speech and held up signs that read, "How much $$ will APD cost taxpayers" and "Fire Atlanta Eagle police officers," according to the Queer Justice League.
Activists silently protest Eagle raid at Atlanta police breakfast
In a statement, Izzard said he and other activists are “still waiting for the mayor to take ‘swift action’ to resolve issues stemming from the raid that he promised several years ago.”
Mayor Reed must understand he cannot continue to try to sweep this under the rug,” Izzard said. “Today’s action shows our commitment to bringing resolution to this issue.”
Carlos Campos, spokesperson for the APD, said this morning’s breakfast was not interrupted.
“I understand some individuals, perhaps two, in attendance stood up and held signs. They were asked to leave by the event’s organizers, The Atlanta Police Foundation, and they complied. The program, intended to honor the work of the department’s officers and civilians, was not interrupted,” Campos said.
Laura Gentle, a straight ally and QJL member, said it was time to fire the officers who were named in reports that officers acted illegally during the Sept. 10, 2009, raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar in Midtown.
“Unlawful officers make it impossible for good officers to do their job. Neither citizens nor fellow officers can put trust in a department that continues to protect criminal officers from termination and just prosecution,” Gentle said. “If Chief Turner won’t resign, Mayor Reed needs to dismiss him and finally conduct the transparent and thorough national search for a new police chief as he promised the citizens of Atlanta when he took office.”