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|[Update with comment from city] City of Atlanta denies wrongdoing in second Eagle lawsuit|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|October 06, 2011 19:10|
Update from Reese McCranie, spokesperson for Mayor Kasim Reed:
The city of Atlanta denies police officers violated the constitutional rights of patrons when the Vice Unit and the now disbanded Red Dog Unit raided the gay Midtown bar the Atlanta Eagle two years ago. The denial comes in the form of a response to the second lawsuit filed over the botched raid bar on Sept. 10, 2009.
The city's answer also states, "Insofar as Plaintiffs have been affected by the conduct of City Defendants, their actions were reasonable, proper, and necessary" and that the plaintiff's allegations "do not establish a constitutional violation."
While the second lawsuit by the 10 men who were in the bar the night it was raided was filed in Fulton County Superior Court, the city filed a motion to remove the lawsuit from that court and have it moved to federal court where the response was filed.
And while the first settlement signed by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten states, "Plaintiffs [were] unlawfully searched, detained, and/or arrested on September 10-11, 2009, at the Atlanta Eagle in Atlanta, Georgia, and that none of the Plaintiffs [were] personally suspected of any criminal activity," Batten did add, "This finding has no preclusive effect as to any other person or entity not a party to this litigation." Read Judge Batten's ruling in the original lawsuit here.
Mayor Kasim Reed, a defendant in the second Eagle lawsuit, said in July after the two investigations were released that he was "shocked" by their findings.
"My reaction [to the reports] is that this is terrible and I'm going to take whatever steps necessary to make sure this never happens in the city of Atlanta again," Reed said.
"As I've said repeatedly, I believe the LGBT community is a vital part of Atlanta and I think the community contributes greatly to what makes this city special and I'm not going to have a police department that does not understand how important this is to me," Reed said.
Two reports state APD did commit wrongdoing during Atlanta Eagle raid
Like in the first federal lawsuit against the city, the second Eagle lawsuit alleges police officers treated the patrons roughly while searching them and detaining them without probable cause, a violation of their Constitutional rights. Officers also used anti-gay slurs against the patrons, according to many patrons in the bar that night.
No mention of the investigations are included in the city's response to the second Eagle lawsuit.
The city is representing these defendants named in the lawsuit: Mayor Kasim Reed,
The defendants include these former officers:
• Willie Adams — fired for "lack of truthfulness" in the Eagle raid investigations
The raid was conducted after two complaints were made to the city about alleged illegal sex and drug activity taking place in the bar, however no one was arrested for sex or drugs.
Fired officer says he needed 'psychiatric help' after allegedly seeing gay sex in bar
In a transcript of an interview conducted by Greenberg Traurig of John Brock on May 17, the former Atlanta police officer said there was no intelligence received that there were weapons in the bar although everyone was frisked and searched.
A town hall forum hosted by the Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board with Mayor Reed and Chief George Turner is scheduled for Nov. 1 at St. Mark United Methodist Church.
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