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UPDATED: Mayor to form ‘blue ribbon panel’ on Eagle raid case

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addresses Stonewall Bar Association

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed addressed the Stonewall Bar Association last night at the organization’s annual awards dinner. Reed was the keynote speaker at the dinner. The mayor promised late last week to make an announcement regarding news on the on-going Atlanta Eagle case and made good on his promise during his address last night.

“The mayor announced that he is going to form a blue ribbon panel to act as an intermediary somehow between the city and plaintiffs’ attorneys to try to resolve the case,” said Dan Grossman, an attorney for the Eagle plaintiffs who attended the dinner.

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City of Atlanta claims no destruction of evidence in Atlanta Eagle case

The city of Atlanta responded late Friday to allegations it has covered up and even destroyed evidence in the Atlanta Eagle federal civil suit by denying the charges and stating it has provided all the relevant documents to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

In a 42-page filing, the city defends its handling of providing requested information -- including emails, text messages and other documents -- to the plaintiffs' attorneys that include Dan Grossman, Lambda Legal and the Southern Center for Human Rights.

The plaintiffs' attorneys accused the city of purposefully withholding and destroying evidence in the Atlanta Eagle case that claims the city violated the patrons of the gay bar when it was raided by the Atlanta Police Department on Sept. 10, 2009.

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Atlanta Eagle attorneys allege city withholding, destroying key evidence in federal lawsuit

Attorney Dan Grossman

Attorneys representing the Atlanta Eagle in a federal civil suit against the city of Atlanta and numerous Atlanta Police Department officers say the city is deliberately hiding information and even destroying evidence from as they seek details about the botched raid on the gay bar last year.

In court documents filed Oct. 6, the attorneys for the plaintiffs — Dan Grossman as well as attorneys from Lambda Legal and the Southern Center for Human Rights — allege, “Throughout this litigation the Defendants and their counsel have acted as if the rules, the law, and even the orders of this Court simply do not apply to them: They have responded late to most discovery requests; failed to respond at all to others; … failed to preserve, search for, or produce responsive items as required by law; failed to obey clear and unambiguous orders of this Court; and rather than produce evidence pursuant to this Court’s Order, they destroyed it.”

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The Atlanta Police Department names new LGBT liaison

After months of speculation of when a second LGBT liaison would be named, the Atlanta Police Department’s Chief George Turner and Mayor Kasim Reed today announced that Zone 2 Precinct Patrol Officer Brian Sharp would fill the second spot. The announcement comes just a week before the 40th annual Atlanta Pride that is expected to attract tens of thousands of people to the city and Piedmont Park.

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Atlanta Police LGBT advisory board meets, questions raised about second gay liaison

Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory Board

Questions about the controversial Atlanta Eagle raid, the status of former LGBT liaison Dani Lee Harris and the appointment of a new liaison as well as how to rebuild trust between the LGBT community and the Atlanta Police Department were the main focus of today’s first meeting of the Atlanta Police Department’s newly formed GLBT advisory board.

Chief George Turner addressed the board this morning at its meeting at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, saying that a second LGBT liaison will be appointed soon to help Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell. But others wanted to know what happened to Dani Lee Harris, who has been on leave since April.

“If we are to establish trust between the community and the APD there has to be dialogue,” said board member Betty Couvertier, a longtime activist who hosts the LGBT radio show “Alternative Perspectives” on WRFG 89.3 FM. “We need to have information about Dani. We have talked to her and she’s not very happy and we need to take that into consideration. She is without pay.”

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Citizens board: Atlanta police falsely imprisoned Atlanta Eagle patrons

Atlanta Eagle staff and patrons rally one the one-year anniversary of the APD raid

The Atlanta Eagle patrons and employees were falsely imprisoned and had their civil rights violated when the gay bar was raided a year ago by the Atlanta Police Department, according to the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

The ruling was made during the CRB’s meeting Sept. 9. The board also ruled that while it was likely abusive language, including racist epithets and anti-gay slurs, was used by the 24 officers during the raid, there was no way to prove exactly who said what. The 24 officers all denied using abusive language, according to a CRB investigator, despite the witnesses and the patrons in the bar who said the abusive language was used.

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Musician marks anniversary of Eagle raid

Local musician Brian Snead put together a fantastic video collage set to an original song called ‘The Gayborhood’ to mark the one year anniversary of the Atlanta Police Department’s raid on the Atlanta Eagle.

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Business Spotlight: Atlanta Eagle remembers one-year anniversary of police raid

Patrons and staff of the Atlanta Eagle protest 2009 raid

On Sept. 10, the Atlanta Eagle was raided by the Atlanta Police Department and eight employees, including dancers from the bar’s popular “Underwear Night,” were arrested and charged with various business license violations.

The violations included not having a license to run an adult establishment because dancers were allegedly dancing erotically and in the nude rather than in their underwear, according to police reports.

More than 60 patrons were also forced to lie on the floor as they had their IDs checked and their pockets searched by members of the notorious Red Dog Unit, a paramilitary narcotics squad of the APD.