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|Second Atlanta Eagle lawsuit filed in Fulton Superior Court over police raid|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|September 09, 2011 08:24|
Nine men who were in the Atlanta Eagle the night it was raided by police two years ago this weekend are suing Mayor Kasim Reed and 25 police officers in Fulton Superior Court. The lawsuit was filed late Thursday, before the two year statute of limitations expired.
The lawsuit alleges many of the same offenses in the original lawsuit filed in November 2009, shortly after the raid occurred on Sept. 10, 2009. Represented by attorneys Dan Grossman and Gerry Weber, the plaintiffs in the second lawsuit accuse the officers named in the lawsuit for violating their the Fourth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution protecting people from illegal search and seizures.
Like the plaintiffs in the first lawsuit, the plaintiffs in this lawsuit spell out how they were forced to the floor and some to lay in spilled beer and a broken beer bottle while officers, including members of the now defunct paramilitary Red Dog squad, stepped on their backs, told them to "shut the fuck up" whenever a person questioned what was happening and then frisked them.
"Defendants acted with reckless, deliberate and callous indifference to the constitutionally protected rights of the plaints," the lawsuit states.
The plaintiffs also allege the defendant officers are "guilty of false imprisonment."
"The individual defendants, with malice and oppression, falsely imprisoned and/or combined and conspired to falsely imprison the plaintiffs and did so under color of legal process," according to the lawsuit.
The plaintiffs also accused the defendants of assault.
"When the individual defendants entered the Eagle, shouted to the plaintiffs to get on the floor, and threatened them with violence (including threatening to hit a patron on the head with a bar stool) the individual defendants committed unlawful acts that would lead a person reasonably to apprehend a violent injury," according to the suit. "Such acts are civilly actionable as an assault under the laws of Georgia."
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial.
In December, the city of Atlanta settled the first lawsuit for more than $1 million with 19 plaintiffs who were in the Eagle the night of the raid and accused the city and individual officers of many of the same offenses. The first lawsuit was however filed in federal court. The federal judge, Timothy Baten, in accepting the settlement deemed the raid "unconstitutional." To view a timeline of the Eagle raid from the night it was raided to when the first federal civil lawsuit was settled, click here.
The second lawsuit filed on Sept. 8 mentions the two investigations conducted by the city into the Eagle raid, one conducted by the Atlanta Police Department's Office of Professional Standards and an independent investigation conducted by Greenberg Traurig and headed up by former U.S. Attorney Joe Whitley. Both investigations deemed the Atlanta Police officers involved in the raid did not follow procedure and violated the rights of the plaintiffs. Several officers were fired after the investigations came to light.
Check back at www.thegavoice.com for more information.
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