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[Update with comment from city] City of Atlanta denies wrongdoing in second Eagle lawsuit

Update from Reese McCranie, spokesperson for Mayor Kasim Reed:


"The new lawsuit claims that every named plaintiff was subjected to improper treatment, including persons the City cannot confirm were actually present at the Eagle during the time of the operation. At this preliminary stage of the lawsuit, the City has not had an opportunity to interview these new plaintiffs and confirm their presence, so the City had no choice but to deny those allegations at this point. Had these new plaintiffs joined in the original Calhoun lawsuit instead of waiting for the outcome of that case before coming forward, the City would have been able to confirm their presence and include them in the previous settlement."

 

The city of Atlanta denies police officers violated the constitutional rights of patrons when the Vice Unit and the now disbanded Red Dog Unit raided the gay Midtown bar the Atlanta Eagle two years ago. The denial comes in the form of a response to the second lawsuit filed over the botched raid bar on Sept. 10, 2009.

"City defendants assert that they took no action to deprive plaintiff's of any right, privilege, freedom or immunity secured by the Constitution" and the laws of Georgia and Atlanta, reads the response filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, Oct. 6 — the day before Atlanta Pride kicks off.

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Atlanta police sued for alleged illegal strip searches

dan grossman/10-4-11/web story

Five men who allege they were illegally strip searched in public by Atlanta Police Department officers are suing Mayor Kasim Reed and 14 police officers in federal court, saying their constitutional rights were violated.

Four of the five young men and their attorneys, Dan Grossman and Mark Bullman, held a press conference today at the state Capitol and spoke about the alleged violations by the now disbanded Red Dog Unit. All the incidents took place in the West End of the city and police said they were searching the men for drugs. No drugs were found on any of the plaintiffs and only one was charged with an offense — a broken tail light.

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Kasim Reed responds to Atlanta Eagle attorney

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed responded late Friday with a statement addressing what he said were false accusations by Eagle attorney Dan Grossman in the GA Voice article, "More lawsuits filed against city of Atlanta for raid on gay bar."

Grossman represented the original plaintiffs in a federal civil lawsuit against the city for the botched 2009 raid on the Atlanta Eagle and is now representing other men in a second lawsuit against Reed and 25 officers involved in the raid.

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More lawsuits filed against city of Atlanta for raid on gay bar

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Attorney Dan Grossman

Ten patrons of the Atlanta Eagle are suing Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and 25 police officers in Fulton County Superior Court, arguing their rights were violated during the botched raid on the gay bar. They allege many of the same offenses in the original lawsuit filed in November 2009, shortly after the raid occurred on Sept. 10, 2009.

Eight other men in the bar the night it was raided settled with the city Sept. 8 for an undisclosed amount of money. The Atlanta City Council will have to approve the settlement and at that time the amount will be made public.

Represented by attorneys Dan Grossman and Gerry Weber, the plaintiffs in the new lawsuit accuse the officers of violating the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protecting people from illegal search and seizures. The lawsuit was filed Sept. 8.

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Second Atlanta Eagle lawsuit filed in Fulton Superior Court over police raid

Nine men who were in the Atlanta Eagle the night it was raided by police two years ago this weekend are suing Mayor Kasim Reed and 25 police officers in Fulton Superior Court. The lawsuit was filed late Thursday, before the two year statute of limitations expired.

The lawsuit alleges many of the same offenses in the original lawsuit filed in November 2009, shortly after the raid occurred on Sept. 10, 2009. Represented by attorneys Dan Grossman and Gerry Weber, the plaintiffs in the second lawsuit accuse the officers named in the lawsuit for violating their the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protecting people from illegal search and seizures.

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Second Atlanta Eagle lawsuit to be filed against city

Patrons of the Atlanta Eagle the night the gay bar was raided on Sept. 10, 2009, and who were not part of the original federal civil lawsuit, plan to file suit later this week against the city of Atlanta and individual police officers involved in the raid.

The suit will be filed by Sept. 9 — before the second anniversary of the raid and the statute of limitations expires for people seeking claims against the city. People who were in the bar the night it was raided and not part of the first lawsuit are being asked to come forward to be part of the second lawsuit before Friday, Sept. 9.

“It is time for the City of Atlanta to put the Eagle matter to rest, but time and again the actions of the city show that city leaders just ‘do not get it.’ The Eagle raid victims should all be fairly compensated and reforms must be fully implemented,” said attorney Gerry Weber in a statement.

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Police LGBT advisory board: Atlanta mayor, police chief need to fire more officers in Eagle raid

Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board

Frustration and anger with the mayor and police chief were expressed by several citizens at the Atlanta Police LGBT advisory group's community meeting on Wednesday as they discussed the 2009 Atlanta Eagle raid and the seemingly unending fallout from it.

About 30 people, including several police officers and representatives of Mayor Kasim Reed's staff, attended the meeting held at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown. No formal action was taken by the police LGBT advisory board other than to state they are requesting separate meetings with Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner, to be held within the next two weeks.

The citizen board also plans to send a letter to each seeking answers to questions including why more officers were not fired after scathing investigations showed officers did not follow procedures when they raided the gay bar on Sept. 10, 2009.

All the people — citizens and LGBT advisory group members — who spoke at the community meeting expressed dismay that the city has taken nearly two years to take any action against the officers who lied, destroyed evidence, and violated the civil rights of the roughly 62 patrons in the bar the night it was raided.

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More lawsuits to be filed against city in Eagle raid?

An attorney representing a former bartender at the Atlanta Eagle says he plans to file a lawsuit on his client's behalf for false arrest and prosecution without probable cause.

Chris Lopez, who was a bartender the night the Atlanta Police Department raided the gay Midtown bar on Sept. 10, 2009, and was one of the eight people arrested, filed a complaint with the city's Municipal Clerk on Dec. 7, 2010, seeking $250,000 for "false arrest, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution."

Lopez filed the complaint as the city settled for more than $1 million with patrons of the bar who sued the city in federal civil court saying their constitutional rights were violated.

When the city's scathing reports describing numerous illegal actions — illegal search and seizures, lying under oath, destroying evidence — made by APD officers during and after the raid were released last month, Lopez's attorney said legal action against the city is now likely.

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Atlanta police slammed in Eagle raid investigations

Attorney for Atlanta Eagle Dan Grossman

The Atlanta Eagle was packed July 2, a far cry from nights following the Atlanta Police Department raid on the gay bar nearly two years ago.

Moving from the dance floor to the back deck for a breath of fresh air took about 20 minutes of snaking between burly men wearing leather or various uniforms who were in town for the popular Atlanta Bear Fest over the holiday weekend.

Downstairs at Rawhide Leather, Du-Wayne Ray, store manager, stood behind the register as customers perused leather vests, harnesses, Eagle t-shirts and adult items.

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Atlanta police LGBT Advisory group member demands Eagle raid officers be fired

kasim reed web story body LGBT advisory board letter

A member of the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory group is demanding fellow members ask Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner to fire officers involved in the raid on the Atlanta Eagle after the department was slammed in reports released last week.

Betty Couvertier, who also hosts and produces “Alternative Perspectives,” an LGBT radio show on WRFG 89.3 FM every Tuesday, sent a letter to other board members on Wednesday expressing her dismay with Reed's revelation that he was “shocked” when he read the reports from the APD's Office of Professional Standards and an independent report by high-profile law firm Greenberg Traurig. The reports state officers lied, destroyed evidence and also showed outright anti-gay prejudices related to the 2009 raid on the gay bar.

“I find it offensive and disturbing that the mayor would be shocked, after all the Civilian Review Board [Atlanta Citizen Review Board]  came to similar conclusions a year ago but they were rejected [by Chief Turner],” she said in a letter to the advisory group members Glen Paul Freedman, chair; Josh Noblitt; Tracee McDaniel; Ebonee Bradford Barnes, Tracy Elliott, Molly Simmons, Philip Rafshoon and Terence McPhaul.