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State investigation into Fulton election errors includes gay candidate races

The Secretary of State is investigating errors made by Fulton County elections officials in the July 31 primary including races with gay candidates.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported  that "results showed several of Fulton's precincts had a voter turnout greater than 100 percent, including one with a 23,300 percent turnout."

The state is specifically investigating the Democratic primary for House District 58, which openly gay Rep. Simone Bell won with 58.7 percent of the vote. According to the AJC, 345 voters in a small section of Reynoldstown were incorrectly sent to vote in the District 59 race.

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Atlanta police: Robbery, not hate crime, likely motive for killings after 2010 Black Gay Pride

Derrick Dnorris Burden

Atlanta police do not believe sexual orientation played a role in the deaths of two men who were slain after attending Black Gay Pride in 2010.

“At this time and even throughout a year and a half investigation, I don’t have any indication that their personal life or lifestyle factored into it at all,” Detective Michael Willis said in an interview this afternoon.

Derrick Burden, 22, was arrested by the APD's Fugitive Unit on April 23 on a warrant for the homicides of both Samuel Blizzard, 21, a Georgia State University student from Spring Cove, Va., and Calvin Streater, 26, of Atlanta.

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Criminal defense attorney questions handling of officers’ punishments in botched Eagle raid

It's a no brainer that the officers who were found to have lied and tampered with evidence in the botched 2009 Eagle raid should be fired, said Christine A. Koehler, a  criminal defense attorney based in Gwinnett County.

As past president of the gay Stonewall Bar Association and the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Koehler said if she practiced in Fulton County, she would be immediately looking through past client records to see if any of the APD officers cited in two scathing investigations on the Eagle raid for lying and tampering with federal evidence testified against any of her clients.

"And I would seek new trials based on the officers' credibility," she said.

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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.