Federal judge signs settlement agreement between city, Atlanta Eagle over gay bar raid

The suit stated the Atlanta Police Department and its Red Dog unit violated the patrons’ federal and state constitutional rights by illegally detaining them, searching them without warrants and using anti-gay slurs during the raid.

Atlanta Eagle patrons alleged they were forced to lie face down on the bar’s floor the night of the raid as members of the APD¹s Red Dog Unit searched them for drugs and ran background checks on them using their ID cards. Eight people were arrested and charged with operating an adult establishment without proper city permits. The raid occurred on the bar’s once popular “Underwear Night” in which dancers clad in underwear entertained patrons.

Police stated the raid came after a months-long investigation following complaints to former Mayor Shirley Franklin’s office of illegal sex taking place at the bar. No one was arrested that night for illegal sex or possession of drugs.

A trial of the “Eagle Eight” occurred in Municipal Court in March. Charges against several of those arrested were dismissed during the trial while three others were found not guilty.




Top photo: Attorney Dan Grossman (left) and plaintiff Geoff Calhoun embrace after the Atlanta City Council unanimously voted to approve a settlement agreement between the city and the plaintiffs of the Atlanta Eagle raid case. (by Dyana Bagby)