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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed apologizes for Eagle gay bar raid

Patrons of the Atlanta Eagle who were searched and detained when police raided the gay bar last September finally got their longed-for apology late Wednesday, when Mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference to speak out on a settlement agreement reached between the city and plaintiffs in a federal civil rights lawsuit over the raid.

"I believe that what occurred that evening should not have happened and should not happen again," Reed said. "As mayor of the city of Atlanta, I feel pain for anyone mistreated in our city and apologize to each plaintiff in the Calhoun case."

Dan Grossman, lead attorney for the plaintiffs, has long said that the lawsuit, which will cost the city some $1.025 million in payments, could have been avoided if the city apologized to the plaintiffs and agreed to change police policies.

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Outspoken: Eagle apology and Atlanta’s HIV rate

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Should Mayor Reed apologize on behalf of the city for the Eagle raid?
Re: “Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Eagle attorney have testy exchange at LGBT town hall forum” (www.thegavoice.com, July 23)

I have to side with the mayor a bit on this one... even if the parties to the current suit were to all agree in writing that they would drop the suit for an apology, that would not bind the others from the Eagle raid from suing and using the mayor’s words of apology to prove guilt and get a huge legal win against the city. How responsible is it to the “gayest city in America” to subject the city to a multi-million payout to one person in order to save a few thousand earlier. That would hurt us all as well. (Not to mention the rates the city pays for legal insurance could skyrocket based on such moves being made by the mayor.) Is the goodwill worth the risk? Reed is putting the good of the city above his chances of re-election.

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