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Former gay mayoral candidate organizes rally to amp up anti-crime efforts

Kyle Keyser, a community activist and former mayoral candidate, announced plans to hold a vigil / rally on Jan. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the steps of Atlanta’s City Hall.

The vigil is aimed at reminding city and community leaders of the impact of crime in 2010. A prayer service will be followed by a call for reduced crime in 2011 and beyond by asking the city’s leaders to address its root causes.

“It is my opinion that Mayor Reed has done a good job in his first year addressing our public safety infrastructure and the police department,” said Keyser, who is gay and ran a grassroots campaign for mayor in 2009, when Reed was elected.

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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.

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City faces new complaint over Atlanta Eagle raid; investigations continue as lawsuit settles

Atlanta Eagle plaintiff Geoff Calhoun

Geoff Calhoun held his face in his hands during the Atlanta City Council meeting on Dec. 6, visibly nervous as he leaned forward in his chair in the council’s chamber at City Hall.

Calhoun was a patron of the Atlanta Eagle, a gay leather bar, on Sept. 10, 2009, the night it was raided by undercover Atlanta Police Department officers and the APD’s Red Dog Unit.

As a plaintiff in the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by patrons who were detained and searched during the raid, Calhoun was waiting anxiously to see if the council would vote to approve a settlement the city reached with the plaintiffs on Dec. 3.

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Mayor opens City Hall for Pride reception tonight

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and City Councilman Alex Wan are hosting a pre-Pride reception tonight at City Hall for local community activists, the Atlanta Police Department’s LGBT Advisory Board, the APD LGBT Liaisons, Atlanta Pride organizers, non-profit leaders and elected officials.

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Out of the Closet & Into the Streets

To celebrate late gay activist and politician Harvey Milk’s birthday, LGBT activists are gathering on the steps of Savannah’s City Hall in a show of solidarity and visibility.