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Atlanta police to conduct safety seminar for LGBT residents

The Atlanta Police Department will sponsor a safety seminary on Friday, Aug. 24, that is open to everyone but will focus on issues facing the LGBT communities in particular. The seminar will be from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Saint Mark United Methodist Church.

“It is important to update and educate the LGBT community on current crime trends affecting it,” said Deputy Chief Propes in a prepared statement. ”Providing proactive crime prevention information will hopefully offer the tools to prevent victimization.”

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Atlanta police release reports in Blake’s fight

Vance Johnson and Derrick Leggrant face charges of simple battery and felony obstruction after fighting Jan. 21 with an off-duty police officer at the gay bar Blake's on the Park, according to police reports released this evening.

Both men were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the altercation, which apparently stemmed from them trying to cut the bathroom line, police reports state.

Police leaders said yesterday that they want to investigate any allegations of police misconduct stemming from the incident. But they noted that the only criticism thus far has come from one individual who wanted to remain anonymous and had not filed an official complaint.

Meanwhile, multiple Blake's employees and patrons praised police handling of the unruly patrons who are described as "belligerent" in witness statements included with the police reports.

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Man charged in setting fire to male teen has long history of sex crimes

Joseph Raymond ZeockA man arrested and charged with setting fire to a 17-year-old male during a sexual encounter in Woodstock, Ga., has a long criminal history of sexually abusing juveniles, according to a spokesperson for the Woodstock Police Department.

Joseph Raymond Zeock, 61, was arrested in Gwinnett County in the early morning hours of July 19 after a tip came from the Woodstock Police Department. He was detained in the Gwinnett County Jail for several hours before being transferred later to the Cherokee Adult Detention Center, said Woodstock police spokesperson Brittany Duncan.

Zeock is accused of tying up a 17-year-old male, gagging him and then setting him on fire, according to police reports. The incident occurred during the overnight hours of Sunday, July 10, and Monday, July 11, at the Suburban Lodge in Woodstock.

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Woodstock police seek help in finding man who allegedly set teen on fire

Joseph Raymond Zeock

A male teen says he was set on fire after a 61-year-old man allegedly solicited him for sex, according to a news report from CBS Atlanta.

Woodstock police are seeking the public's help in finding Joseph Raymond Zeock, 61, who allegedly bound and gagged a 17-year-old male and then set the teen on fire. Zeock is wanted on charges of aggravated battery, cruelty to children, false imprisonment and solicitation of sodomy.

"The victim told police that Zeock had promised him money in return for certain acts. During one of these acts, the victim was bound, gagged and set on fire," according to CBS Atlanta.

According to an alert by the Woodstock Police issued today, "On July 12, 2011, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Woodstock Police Investigators responded to Grady Hospital in reference to a person injured. Upon arrival, Investigators met with a 17 year old male who stated that Joseph Raymond Zeock, also known as J.R., had set him on fire.

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Atlanta police arrest 50 male prostitutes in ‘Operation Summer Heat’

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner

An undercover six-day vice and narcotics operation in Midtown Atlanta that ended Sunday night resulted in the arrests of 50 male and 11 female prostitutes, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

Most of the arrests occurred in the Peachtree/Cypress Street and Ponce de Leon corridors, areas known for prostitution.

“We’ve received many complaints about hustling and prostitution in these corridors,” Chief George Turner said in a statement. “We hope these arrests send a signal to the community that the APD is listening, and to lawbreakers that we are not going to tolerate this conduct.”

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Atlanta police ‘pound streets’ to solve killing of Black Gay Pride organizer

Atlanta Police canvass the area near where Durand Robinson was killed

Dasanta Robinson stood in the Campbellton Plaza parking lot Thursday evening with more than a dozen of his family members. They were waiting for the Atlanta Police Department to begin canvassing nearby southwest Atlanta neighborhoods for clues in his brother's death.

"He was really something special," Robinson said of his brother, Durand Robinson, who was shot and killed Aug. 25 on Hadlock Street near East Point.

"It's like we're living in a nightmare and we're waiting for it to be over. I don't understand why anyone would want to kill Durand. He would do anything for anyone," added Robinson, 50, of Decatur.

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Arson of gay man’s home may not meet hate crime criteria

Chris Staples' home was burned in an apparent arson

The arson of a gay man’s home in Carrollton, Ga., continues to be investigated by local and federal authorities. However, it appears doubtful that it will be classified as a hate crime as defined by federal law.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates told the GA Voice this week through a spokesperson that the matter is still being investigated and the FBI is partnered with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office. No subjects have been identified and it is still undetermined whether there will be federal jurisdiction.

Chris Staples, 43, was inside his small home in Carroll County on Saturday, Jan. 22, when a rock with an anti-gay note attached was thrown through his window. Hours later, Staples woke up to find his home engulfed in flames. Carroll County is some 50 miles west of Atlanta.

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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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Accused Army whistleblower for WikiLeaks is gay

The U.S. Army soldier at the center of an investigation regarding the release of classified and secret information to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks is gay, according to the Windy City Times.

Private First Class Bradley Manning, a former defense analyst, is accused of transferring more than 250,000 diplomatic documents and a video showing a U.S. helicopter crew attacking and killing two Iraqi children and two Reuters employees known as “Collateral Murder” to WikiLeaks.

According to the article, Manning was frustrated with his career and personal life, which led to his decision to leak the classified information. The administration, as well as the State Department, have condemned the leaks.