Two LGBT activists were asked to leave today's Atlanta Police Foundation's "Crime is Toast" breakfast featuring Mayor Kasim Reed and Chief George Turner after they held up protest signs about the Eagle raid at the beginning of the mayor's speech.
Art Izzard and Laura Gentle of the Queer Justice League were asked to leave the annual meeting held today at the World Congress Center after they stood up at the beginning of Mayor Reed's speech and held up signs that read, "How much $$ will APD cost taxpayers" and "Fire Atlanta Eagle police officers," according to the Queer Justice League.
A former Atlanta Eagle bartender is suing the city of Atlanta and four individual Atlanta police officers in federal court saying his constitutional rights were violated.
Chris Lopez was a bartender at the gay Midtown bar the night of Sept. 10, 2009, when the APD's Vice Unit and the now disbanded Red Dog Unit raided it. He alleges in his lawsuit filed Sept. 9 — before the two-year statute of limitations expired — that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was arrested and then put on trial in Atlanta Municipal Court. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia.
Individual officers named in the lawsuit are Willie Adams, John Brock, Kelly Collier and Brandon Jackson.
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.
Nov. 1 is the new date for a town hall forum hosted by the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board with Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Police Chief George Turner. The meeting will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. at Saint Mark United Methodist Church.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 28, the meeting was moved after leaders of Congregation Bet Haverim, Atlanta's gay-founded Reconstructionist synagogue, objected that it conflicted with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which begins that night.
The Sept. 28 town hall forum hosted by the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board with Mayor Kasim Reed and Atlanta Police Chief George Turner will be rescheduled to a later date in October. A specific date is expected to be decided this week.
Glen Paul Freedman, chair of the advisory board, said today the date will be after Atlanta Pride, set for Oct. 8-9, and will not be scheduled to interfere with the AIDS Walk on Sunday, Oct. 16.
The current date of Sept. 28 falls on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. An open letter to the community from gay-led Congregation Bet Haverim urged the board to change the date.