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Atlanta police report five anti-gay bias crimes for 2010

So far this year, the Atlanta Police Department has classified five reported crimes as anti-gay bias crimes. A total of 17 bias crimes, which also include race, gender and religion, have been reported and classified by APD for 2010.

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Police chief: Gays not targeted in recent crime spate

Atlanta Chief of Police George Turner

Acting Atlanta Police Chief George Turner understands there is a rift between LGBT residents and his department, and he hopes a town hall meeting organized by the police and openly gay Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan will help mend that fracture.

The meeting was scheduled for July 22, after Georgia Voice press time.

“We’ve not had a specific meeting for the GLBT community and so we felt it appropriate to building a relationship,” Turner said July 19.

“We’re getting the LGBT advisory board back up and want to work on a partnership,” Turner said.

The nine-member board may start meeting as soon as this fall, said Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell, the department’s new LGBT liaison.

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Screen on the Green gay audience target of melee?

Dreamgirls will show at Screen on the Green next week

The same day the Atlanta police chief finalists met in a town hall forum, the popular “Screen on the Green” movie showing in Piedmont Park ended abruptly after several fights broke out and there were unconfirmed reports of gunfire.

Jesse Rhodes, who is openly gay, said what happened at Screen on the Green on June 3 was an “insult” to the people of Midtown, including its gay residents. He lives at Post Parkside and walked to the park with a group of gay friends. While the fights and rowdy behavior broke out around them as they tried to watch “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” he and his gay friends felt very vulnerable, he said.

“We felt like sitting ducks,” he said. “They were definitely targeting gay people. One of my good friends, who is gay and works at Swinging Richards, got jumped by five people and beat up.”

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Atlanta Police chief finalists meet in town hall forum

Candidates for the Atlanta Police Chief position

At the recent town hall forum to let the public meet the three finalists to be the next Atlanta police chief, Mayor Kasim Reed acknowledged that many believe there has been a breach of confidence between the city’s residents and the police department.

“Tonight we begin repairing that breach,” Reed said during opening remarks on June 3 at the Atlanta Civic Center.

The three candidates are interim Chief George Turner; Dr. Cedric Alexander, head of the Transportation Security Administration at the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas International Airport; and Robert White, the Louisville, Kentucky Metro police chief.

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Speaking out: Your comments on APD’s new liaison and Ga’s new bully bill

Atlanta police still need to apologize for Eagle raid
Re: “Atlanta police want to sweeten relationship with LGBT community” (News, May 28)

Of course they want to sweeten the relationship. They are tired of being sued.

Except for [GA Voice Deputy Editor Dyana Bagby’s] astute, articulate articles, and [Eagle lawsuit attorney] Dan Grossman’s comprehensive legal expertise, there has been no sense that anyone, including the APD, the City of Atlanta, or our local LGBT so-called leaders have had the slightest clue about the seriousness and legalities of what happened at the Eagle. If the police and the city had, even after the fact, realized the gravity of their actions, they wouldn’t have taken the “underwear dancing” case to trial. And the police would have apologized formally by now for their Gestapo-like actions in September.