Dangerous underwear dancers arrested: Atlanta saved.
The police attack on the Stonewall Inn, in 1969, is credited with the start of the gay rights movement in the United States. It was the first time that gays fought back and the police were horrified. The police like to pick on people especially if they feel the people won't fight back. The cops also like to use their power to indulge their own small-minded prejudices and bigotry. And it isn't just gays that they attack.
A few weeks back the Fort Worth police, in conjuction with agents from the liquor authority, attacked a gay bar. They swarmed into the bar in force and started cuffing people. One man was thrown to the ground and suffered a brain concussion that hospitalized him in serious condition. The police claimed it was because on a previous night people were seen leaving the bar who police thought might be drunk. Really? Drinking? In a bar?
Patrons made lots of accusations which the police and liquor authority denied. Alas evidence later came out that pretty much showed that the cops were liars—you would think that this was assumed given the reputation of American police officers for being dishonest, bigoted and violent. The liquor authority ended up with egg on its face and admitted their agents had falsified statements and acted in ways against departmental policy. The ruckus in Fort Worth just died down. So now the police in Atlanta engage in something similar against a gay bar there, although not quite as violently.
Once again the charges the police concocted are less than convincing. First the police claim that the raid against the patrons of the bar was done at the behest of the patrons of the bar. They claim customers of the bar filed a "volume of complaints." In another statement the police said they received "several complaints with descriptive information about alleged criminal conduct" in the bar. Remember this is the American South so "criminal conduct" could be something as dangerous as offering to sell someone a dildo. Georgia is infested with Jesus-addicts which means the legislation there particularly intrusive in people's private lives. Moralists tend to want a state as omnipotent as their alleged deity.
In another statement police claimed it was "illicit sex" that was what they putting a stop to. Good thing, I feel safer already. But elsewhere they said they were after drugs. I sincerely doubt that any actual complainants will ever be identified. Why? Because when cops want to justify a particular action they take against a particular place or person they invent such complaints. They will refer to them as the reason they had to take action. The cops invent the complaints and then act on them.
In one statement police claimed that police officers "observed criminal behavior taking place" but, they don't explain what behavior or why those "criminals" were not arrested. The police then absurdly claimed that their actions against dancing is to "deter criminal activity in order to create a safe environment." Safe? From what? Dancing? For the record, I don't feel unsafe because people dance. I do feel unsafe anytime a cop is within 200 feet of me.
Of course, anonymous complaints about "drugs" in any establishment that caters to the clubbing scene (gay or straight) which has a significant number of people present at any time, is likely to have someone there who has some illegal drugs on them. I would bet if you searched the purses of every Jesus-monger at a large Baptist Church you would find some illegal drugs along the way as well. No particular individual was being targeted, which means the police had no information about any specific drug dealing going on at the club. But they raided the club and then searched every single patron in the hope of finding some illegal drugs to justify their attack.
The problem was that they didn't find any. Personally I consider that a miracle. These days you couldn't search a cub scout pack without finding drugs. But according to news reports "no drugs were found, and none of those arrested face narcotics charges." That has to be embarrassing.
Update: Atlanta police are having a damn hard time keeping their story straight. The latest report I've read now have the police claiming that the complaints came, not from patrons, but from neighbors. A check of the satellite photos from Google show almost no neighbors at all. The building adjacent to the club is vacant. On the other side is a parking lot. Across the street is a park. A doughnut shop is half a block away. And now they claimed it "public sex" that was the criminal act, not drugs as they previously claimed. But they still haven't explained why no one was ever arrested for the crime that the cops claim took place.
In yet another version a spokeswoman for the department says that there were two complaints, one each at two different "tip lines." Anyone want to bet the same person made both calls? The anonymous caller claimed that Thursdays were "sex night" at the club. And, even more bizarre is the claim that the club took loud speakers and pointed them toward apartment buildings a distance away "playing sounces of gay men having sex." However the local "Security Alliance" of businesses and residents in the general area says that they did not initiate the complaint and "we never have received any complaints, reports, or observations about criminal activity in any way associated with the Eagle. The spokesman said: "I have spent much time on the streets of Midtown, and look under every rock to identify problem spots. Eagle is not one of those problem spots, and we have always considered the Eagle to be a good neighbor."
My guess is the one demented individual made up all these accusations, made both calls to two different lines, and then relied on the natural bigotry and thuggery of the police department to do their work for them. In essence, the police were fag bashers by proxy, which doesn't mean they wouldn't have enjoyed the task on their own.
So why was the staff of the bar arrested? That evening the bar sponsored an "underwear" party. This meant some people were dancing in their underwear. Good lord, underwear today tends to be less revealing than the swimsuits of my youth-when Speedos were the fashion. Mark Spitz posed in less for his famous Olympics photo. However, the creative thugs in blue, argued that people dancing in underwear is "adult entertainment" and the bar was not licensed for "adult entertainment." No doubt the morons in Atlanta's police department would say the following video is thus hard-core pornography.
For the record, a quick search on Youtube shows over 10,000 vidoes posted by criminals showing themselves dancing in their underwear. It is my suspicion that none of these dangerous criminals were in possession of a government license allowing them to so dance.
Press reports say the police literally searched every person in the bar. Exactly what "reasonable cause" did they have to conduct searches on every person in a business? Apparently anonymous drug complaints, or sex complaints (they haven't gotten their story straight yet to decide which one they will use). Of course this is the same police department that manufactured a false statement to a judge in order to secure a search warrant on an elderly woman who lived alone. The police lied about the circumstances completely and then conducted an armed raid on the woman's home where she was killed. Only because this old woman died was a thorough investigation done and it was proven that the cops had lied throughout the process and had no reason to raid the woman's home. They claimed an anonymous tip told them it was a drug dealers house. Liars!
According to the reports I've read about a dozen or more police officers swept into the bar and forced all patrons to lie on the floor. Each individual was searched for the non-existent drugs. And staff members were carted off to jail for allowing patrons to dance in their underwear. In addition to the dozen or more uniformed officers it is believed that ten other officers were inside the club in plain clothes. So they had 10 officers inside. Notice that no one was arrested for any of the crimes used as an excuse to raid the bar. No one was arrested for "illicit sex" and in Georgia that doesn't take much. No one was arrested for possessing or distributing drugs. And the only "criminal activity" the police officers could find was people dancing while wearing underwear—no nudity even.
Patrons who were inside said that after the first search, which turned up NO drugs, the police then searched most the patrons a second time—in the hope, no doubt, of getting lucky and justifying the "complaints" they invented. One patron said: "I was held in the bar for over an hour; they were going through and searching people. They tore the bar apart. They searched the cash register, they searched the ice machine they were ripping things off the walls. It was ridiculous. They were in full SWAT gear." I bet as the searches progressed, and no drugs were found, the police got more and more desperate. They just assumed that searching enough would turn up somebody with drugs. Whoops! Didn't happen and instead they were caught making up tales to justify their thuggery.
For the Atlanta police this is a step toward civility. At least they were murdering old ladies this time. But they did get some dangerous people who were dancing without a permit. Fuck! Really, do we need these assholes? The honest truth is that I'd rather take my risks with criminals than cops. The criminals aren't as violent and they don't have the politicial system trying to protect them. If I shoot a criminal who attacks me it's called "self-defense." If the criminal is wearing a cop's uniform is called assaulting an office and usually brings about the death penalty inflicted on the spot, without judge or jury.