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Atlanta police investigate allegation of misconduct at Blake’s

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The Atlanta Police Department is conducting an official investigation into allegations of police misconduct during the arrest of two men at Blake's on the Park. Management of the popular Midtown gay bar, however, is praising the APD's handling of the incident.

APD Deputy Chief Renee Propes, who is openly gay, said during Monday's Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board meeting that an Office of Professional Standard investigation was opened this week after an allegation a police officer ordered a patron at the popular Midtown gay bar to delete video off his cellphone during the arrest of two unruly patrons.

The alleged misconduct occurred late Friday, Jan. 20, when APD was called to the bar for backup after a fight broke out, including one of the patrons arrested allegedly throwing a drink in the face of an off-duty officer working security and then allegedly knocking his glasses off his face. The patron also allegedly punched Blake's manager Doug Edmisten in the head.

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Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board takes on Blake’s incident, Midtown crime tonight

The fight at Blake's on the Park that resulted in arrests as well as what is happening with Midtown crime are on the agenda for tonight's Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board meeting.

Zone 5 Commander Major C. Leighty will be on hand to discuss the Friday night incident at Blake's when two patrons were arrested after a fight broke out at the popular Midtown bar.

An off-duty APD officer working at Blake's Friday night was allegedly punched in the face by one of the unruly patrons after he and another man were asked to leave by management. The alleged assault of the officer led to more Zone 5 officers responding to the scene and arresting the two men in the parking lot.

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Blake’s employee: No police misconduct happened at bar

Lynn Barfield, Atlanta Pride parade grand marshal

A longtime security employee of Blake's on the Park said today there was no discrimination by the Atlanta Police Department against patrons of the bar after the APD was called in to help break up a fight on Friday night.

"No one was hurt, no one was taunted or were physically abused by anyone. The only people that got hurt was our staff, trying to apprehend the jerks that started the whole mess," Lynn Barfied told GA Voice. Known as "Mama Lynn" by many of the patrons of the bar, she has worked at Blake's for seven years.

"They [the APD] show up any time we need them at our bar for incidents just like this. It's not news to us, it's what we deal with every weekend. How the rumor of officers discriminating against anyone got started is beyond me," she added.

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Men mugged after leaving Atlanta gay bar

Two men were beaten and robbed in the early morning hours of Sunday after leaving Blake's on the Park in Midtown. The Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaisons have been contacted and will follow up with the victims, according to APD spokesperson John Chafee.

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Premiere Party returns June 11

The Premiere Party, an annual benefit for the CHRIS Kids, returns to the Mason Mauer Fine Art Gallery June 11. CHRIS Kids is a local nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate homelessness among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens and youth.

Some 600 people are expected to attend the event, which has raised more than $750,000 since its first year in 2002, according to event organizers. Last year's event was also held at Mason Mauer Fine Art Gallery.

“Each year we've increased in attendance and dollars raised,” said Frank Wren, CHRIS Kids LGBT Outreach Chair. “It's a great event.”

“Premiere Party brings awareness to CHRIS Kids' mission of taking care of kids who get kicked out of their homes for being gay,” Wren added.

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Lee Farkas found guilty of ‘one of largest bank frauds in history’

Lee Farkas, former manager at a company that owned Blake's on the ParkLee Farkas, once a manager of the company that owned Atlanta gay bar Blake's on the Park, was found guilty Tuesday of being the "mastermind" in a $2.9 billion fraud trial that officials said was "one of the largest bank frauds in history."

The Justice Department's criminal division chief, Lanny Breuer, said Farkas, 58, was "one of the masterminds in one of the largest bank frauds in history" and that his misconduct "poured fuel on the fire of the financial crisis," according to a report by the Associated Press.

In June, Farkas, who is gay, was indicted on one count of conspiracy, six counts of bank fraud, six counts of wire fraud and three counts of securities fraud. Farkas was found guilty of 14 of these counts.