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.
Seven of 10 officers involved in the Atlanta Eagle raid — including one sergeant who said he considered gay people violent — have been put on administrative duty for violating the Atlanta Police Department's truthfulness policy due to fallout from investigations into the botched gay bar raid.
Two officers involved in the raid have already been terminated due to a separate, unrelated investigation, states a press release from the APD.
"The investigative reports prepared by the Office of Professional Standards and Greenberg Traurig concluded that ten (10) sworn members of the Atlanta Police Department violated the APD's truthfulness policies," states a press release from the APD.
"Chief Turner placed 7 of these 10 officers on administrative duty pending the outcome of a disciplinary review. The officers were required to return their guns and badges and will not work in a law enforcement capacity until resolution of this matter," the release states.
The long-awaited city investigation into the Atlanta Police Department’s 2009 raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar, was to be completed today, June 27, as mandated by a federal judge. The judge also required the report be released to the public when finished.
However, as June 27 comes to a close — a deadline set after the judge gave the city a three-week extension to finish the investigation — still nothing has been released from the mayor’s office or the APD to the public.
Two reports — one from the mayor's office and one from the APD's Office of Professional Standards — were due today as part of the city’s settlement with plaintiffs who sued the city after the bar was raided Sept. 10, 2009. The judge ruled the raid unconstitutional and the city settled the federal civil lawsuit for $1.025 million in December.