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N.Y. Bar Raided During Celebration

N.Y. Bar Raided During Celebration


In a case of poor timing, New York City's Eagle Bar underwent a sudden police inspection Friday night just as patrons were celebrating the state's legalization of marriage equality.

Those present say representatives from the New York Police Department and three other agencies, including the State Liquor Authority, arrived shortly after the state Senate's vote and turned off the bar's lights. They then shined flashlights in patron's faces and asked some of them to empty their pockets.

According to police, the inspection was one of four previously planned operations carried out as part of a program called MARCH (multiagency response to community hot spots), but Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer said what went on at this particular bar on West 28th Street was akin to a raid.

Stringer acknowledged that such inspections weren't unusual, but said "I think this one was ill-conceived and ill-timed given the circumstances surrounding the marriage equality celebration, on Pride week."

The visit reportedly led to six violations being issued. "I definitely lost money last night because they made patrons wait outside in a line down the block," the bar's owner, Robert Berk, 50, told The New York Times. "I don't know how much I have to pay, but it's enough to matter."

Christopher J. Borras, 46, who was among those waiting to get in when the officers arrived, called the inspection "a blatant sign of intimidation and harassment. I mean, 42 years after the Stonewall riots and we still have to live in fear of the police disturbing our quiet enjoyment of life? I just don't understand. We are very peaceful."

Read the full story here.

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