The Atlanta Citizens Review Board recommended Wednesday that the Atlanta Police Department supervisors involved in the illegal raid on the gay bar the Atlanta Eagle receive written reprimands and as well as have training on the Fourth Amendment.
The more than 20 officers involved in the raid were recommended to have 3-day suspensions, written reprimands and training on the Fourth Amendment.
These recommendations seem to stray from the original intent of the board after they stated several times in prior meetings that written reprimands for the supervisors — as outlined by APD policies, which the board must abide by — were not tough enough punishment. The board members requested an in-depth investigation into the supervisors of the raid to potentially recommend stiffer penalties.
CRB: Written reprimands, training for supervisors of illegal Eagle raid
The decision to take a weak stance against the supervisors outraged Thomas Hayes, 68, a patron in the bar the when it was raided by the Atlanta Police Department’s Vice Squad and Red Dog Unit.
“I have to express my opinion and I’m highly disappointed,” he told board members. “You were all in agreement [the APD’s policies] were not tough enough.”
Only one officer taking part in the raid on Sept. 10, 2009, Sgt. Kelly Collier, received a recommendation for a 30-day suspension without pay for being “untruthful” during the CRB investigation.
Cris Beamud, executive director of the CRB, described Collier as “not credible” and explained to the board that when an officer is found guilty of “untruthfulness” the punishment is typically being fired. After some discussion, the board decided to only recommend the month-long suspension without pay.
Other items that came out of the report:
In the past two years, there is no documentation APD officers received training on the Fourth Amendment. In December, the city settled a federal lawsuit for $1.025 million that alleged the APD violated the constitutional rights of the patrons in the bar the night of the raid.
When a CRB board member asked why officers did not arrest the men they allegedly saw having illicit sex in the bar during its undercover investigation months before the actual raid, Beamud said she learned through the investigation that the officers “wanted to regroup because they had been shocked by the behavior.”
The Red Dog Unit was brought in to assist the Vice Squad during the raid only after the Gang Unit was called first but was unable to help. The Red Dog Unit was called because it was expected that numerous arrests were going to be made, Beamud said.
UPDATE: It was incorrectly reported in a previous posting of this story that the supervisors were recommended to have 3-day suspensions. The supervisors recommended for training and written reprimands are Major Debra Williams, Sgt. John Brock, Sgt. Willie Adams and Lt. Tony Crawford.