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|Eagle attorney Dan Grossman issues executive summary of investigation into gay bar raid|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|June 29, 2011 16:58|
Dan Grossman served as lead attorney in the federal civil lawsuit filed by patrons of the Atlanta Eagle who were in the gay bar during the 2009 raid by the Atlanta Police Department. The lawsuit ended with a $1.025 million settlement from the city and a court mandate that the city conduct investigations into the botched raid and make public the results. Today Grossman issued his own executive summary of the findings of the massive report issued by law firm Greenberg Traurig Tuesday.
Here it is in its entirety and can also be found here.
Highlights of the Atlanta Eagle Raid Report by Greenberg Traurig by Daniel J. Grossman, Esq.
With regard to the lead investigator of the Eagle Raid, Investigator Bennie Bridges, the report concluded: "Bridges sworn testimony presented in front of a Court of Law as well as his discovery responses are untruthful." (GT report, p. 174)
Destruction of Evidence
On October 6, 2010, the Plaintiffs filed a motion with the Court alleging that several APD officers intentionally destroyed evidence in a federal case by deleting data on mobile phones Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr. had ordered them to produce.
The Greenberg Traurig report devoted 39 pages to a detailed analysis of this issue (pages 67-106). The report concluded that ten officers failed to "obey the law" in connection with their "mass deletion of cell phone data." (GT report. p. 106.)
[These officers are: Sergeant Willie Adams, Sergeant Kelley Collier, Investigator Gregory Dabney, Officer Jeremy Edwards, Investigator Herman Glass, Officer Brandon Jackson, Officer Dimitri Jacques, Officer Dion Meredith, Officer Marlon Noble, and Officer William Walters.]
“Sergeant Brock knowingly violated the patrons’ Fourth Amendment rights when he instructed that all patrons to be frisked for weapons. ... Although Sergeant Brock recognizes that APD does not have the right to pat down every person at a crime scene unless they were involved with the crime, Sergeant Brock instructed Vice officers to frisk each and every patron for weapons.” (GT report, pp. 145-146.)
The report concluded: “By allowing the sexual orientation of the patrons to influence tactical decisions of the Raid, Brock allowed his preconceived notions of a class of persons to dictate the treatment of individuals.” (GT report, pp. 143-144.)
In describing his belief that gay people are more violent than heterosexuals, Brock stated: “In the past I have as a patrol officer handled calls where there are gay couples living in residence where one is mad at the other, and they slash clothes, furniture, anything they can do. They’re very violent.” (GT report, pp. 142-143.)
When asked if he thinks “that the gay community is more violent than other citizen groups” Brock replied: “My experience, yes. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when they’re -- when they get mad, they get really mad.”
The report also found that officers made anti-gay remarks both during the Raid itself (GT report. P. 31) and during the investigation that followed, including Officer Jeremy Edwards who described a “man have sex with another man” as being “very violent.” (GT report, p. 179-180).
In finding Vice Unit commander Tony Crawford responsible for “Unsatisfactory Performance,” the report stated: “Lieutenant Crawford did not provide the Vice Unit with an adequate level of supervision.
As previously stated, Crawford rarely, if at all, attended details and was generally unavailable to the Vice Unit. By all accounts, during Crawford’s tenure, Sergeant Brock was handling the day-to-day operations of the Vice Unit, including supervising the vast majority of evening undercover details.” (GT report, pp. 133-134.) The report also found that Lt. Crawford “was untruthful with regard to material issues.” (GT report, p. 134.)
The report determined that “Major [Debra] Williams, as the highest ranking SES official failed to adequately supervise the Eagle Investigation. In addition, Major Williams presented an inaccurate statement to the public regarding APD policies and procedures.” (GT report, p. 128.)
According to the report, Vice Sgt. Kelly Collier “did nothing when he saw patrons ordered to the ground detained despite his belief that such a detention was illegal.” (GT report, p. 153.) “As a sergeant, Collier was responsible for ensuring that the officers at the Eagle that night complied with the rules, regulations and Standard Operating Procedures. By his own admission, Collier failed to properly observe and supervise the officers, including during the time they were conducting improper frisks.” (GT report, p. 152.)
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