The Atlanta Law Department issued this response today: “The city respectfully disagrees with the judge’s order to reinstate Sergeant Adams and plans to appeal.”
Adams was a supervisor for the notorious and now defunct Red Dog Unit during the botched 2009 raid on the Atlanta Eagle and eventually went to work for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department.
Adams was fired by Chief George Turner for “lack of truthfulness” during the investigation into the raid on the Midtown gay bar. Turner testified at the Oct. 20, 2011, hearing before the Civil Services Board that Adams said he did not witness patrons of the bar being patted down, that he participated as a supervisor in detaining the patrons, which went against APD standard operating procedures, and that he lied when he said he told officers to allow the patrons to sit up rather than remain lying down on the bar’s floor.
Adams’ attorney, Mary Huber, accused the city at the hearing of trying to appease Eagle attorney Dan Grossman and deflect bad publicity surrounding the APD because of the botched raid.
“In the rush to settle the lawsuit, the city is throwing this officer under the bus to make Mr. Grossman happy and go away,” said Huber.
Adams testified he believed there was a search warrant for the raid before the Red Dog Unit barged into the bar to provide support to the Vice Unit, and that he ordered the patrons on the ground to be allowed to sit up because they were being cooperative and he was a “humane” person.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Atlanta Eagle co-owner Robby Kelley took to Facebook to voice his disgust with the recent development in the Adams’ case:
Mayor Reed can not say this did not happen on his watch. And I no longer have to play nice with the APD. I have not been this upset in a few years. To Sgt. Adams, stay the F away from me my bar my employees and the gay community. If you come near me I will sue the city myself this time. Not for the community not for my patrons but for me. I have moved out of the city so I did not have to look at the police anymore. My bar has to stay there …. But I can say that I no longer [feel] that the police have changed, moved forward or care about the community, straight or gay, for something like this to be allowed to happen.
Photo: Former Atlanta Police officer Willie Adams. (by Dyana Bagby)