article placeholder

Atlanta police to disband controversial Red Dog Unit

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner

The Atlanta Police Department will disband its controversial Red Dog Unit in 60 days, Chief George Turner announced at a press conference this morning.

The paramilitary-style unit had come under scrutiny for its supporting role in the 2009 police raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar on Ponce de Leon Avenue, and recent complaints from two men that Red Dog officers — including two who also took part in the Eagle raid — subjected them to a strip search on a public street in broad daylight.

The Red Dog unit will be replaced by a new elite unit that has yet to be named, Turner said. The new unit will focus chiefly on violent crime, whereas the primary focus of Red Dog was street-level drug activity. Current Red Dog officers will have to apply to be part of the new unit, and will have to meet stringent standards including physical fitness and being free from any sustained complaints against them, Turner said.

article placeholder

Citizen Review Board releases full investigative report on Atlanta Eagle raid

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board released today to the public its full investigative report on the raid of the Atlanta Eagle by the Atlanta Police Department.

And on Thursday, the LGBT Advisory Group sent Chief George Turner a letter asking he follow the recommended punishments to the officers and supervisors of the September 2009 raid.

The recommended punishments range from 3-day suspensions, written reprimands and Fourth Amendment training to all the officers involved in the raid to written reprimands and Fourth Amendment training for supervisors of the raid. One supervisor, a sergeant, was recommended for a 30-day suspension without pay for being “untruthful” during the CRB’s investigation.

article placeholder

Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board meets Monday

Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell

The Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory Board will hold its next meeting on Jan. 10 at Atlanta City Hall’s City Council Committee Room 2 at 7 p.m.

Among the items on the agenda for the meeting include a review of the federal lawsuit settlement between the city and plaintiffs from the Atlanta Eagle stemming from the botched 2009 raid on the bar, an update on the status of the investigation into the shooting death of Black Gay Pride organizer Durand Robinson and an update on the status of DUI and road checks used in the city.

APD’s LGBT Liaison Officers Patricia Powell and Brian Sharp will address the board. Members of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board will also be on-hand to discuss how the ACRB and the LGBT Advisory Board can work together in the future.

article placeholder

Citizens board: Atlanta police falsely imprisoned Atlanta Eagle patrons

Atlanta Eagle staff and patrons rally one the one-year anniversary of the APD raid

The Atlanta Eagle patrons and employees were falsely imprisoned and had their civil rights violated when the gay bar was raided a year ago by the Atlanta Police Department, according to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

The ruling was made during the CRB’s meeting Sept. 9. The board also ruled that while it was likely abusive language, including racist epithets and anti-gay slurs, was used by the 24 officers during the raid, there was no way to prove exactly who said what. The 24 officers all denied using abusive language, according to a CRB investigator, despite the witnesses and the patrons in the bar who said the abusive language was used.