Police Broke Law in Atl. Gay Bar Raid

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com September 10 2010 11:00 AM ET

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board determined that 24 police officers acted improperly when they raided the Eagle gay bar last year, but it opted not to take disciplinary action because it could only impose a three-day suspension on officers.

According to WABE, the board considered the two issues of false imprisonment and abusive language regarding the raid last September.

“The first involved charges of false imprisonment. The board found officers had no legal right to search, detain, and run criminal database checks on the 60+ patrons, because none were suspected of any crime.

“The second issue, abusive language, wasn't so easy. Although both CRB investigators and the board agreed officers likely used abusive and homophobic language, they couldn't identify responsible officers. The board, unwillingly, agreed not to sustain those charges.”

The board tabled disciplinary action because members wanted tougher penalties than the maximum three-day suspension, according to WABE.

The Atlanta police department has yet to release the results of its internal investigation into the raid, while a federal lawsuit proceeds.