Fort Worth cops raid a gay bar and put one customer in intensive care. Seven men were arrested. The police chief says that the violence of the cops was because - wait for it - the cops were hit on:
"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."
This is simply incredible. Does anyone honestly believe that a bunch of cops entering a gay bar armed with plastic cuffs to check for drunkenness would be cruised and hit on by the customers? I mean: seriously. Only a pathological homophobe would think such a thing - and the police chief needs to withdraw this absurd statement, which is denied by all the eye-witnesses. Dan Savage has the best summary of this blast from the brutal past:
Allow me to translate the chief's comments: "Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they're complainin' about some rough stuff and one little ol' faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they're alive."
One of the customers is in intensive care with a blood clot in the brain from the assault by the cops. The cops claim he fell later outside the bar and hit his head. They have subsequently conceded that his injuries occurred under police custody. But there are eye-witness accounts and cell-phone photos that say something different:
"[Gibson] was taken down hard," said Camp, with "four or five" officers wrestling him to the floor inside the club. Cellphone photos shot by patrons and posted to blogs show a person being held facedown by officers in a short hallway inside the club, then show a dent in the wall where his head was apparently banged.
“I saw a cop walk up behind a guy who was sitting at a table. The cop told him to stand up, and when the guy asked what for, the cop said, You’re intoxicated,’ Addicks said. “Then there was that guy getting the crap beat out of him there in the back.
Justin McCarty said he was working security for the Rainbow Lounge at the time of the raid early Sunday morning. He said an officer approached him and asked how much he had had to drink.
“I told him I was working and hadn’t had anything to drink, and that’s when he told me, Then you need to make yourself scarce.’ So I did. I went to the back out of the way. I took that as a threat that if I didn’t, I would be arrested, too,” McCarty said. McCarty said that he saw officers throw Chad Gibson to the floor, adding that, “There were people standing there watching it happen and crying. They were scared. It was just brutal.”
Egert also said she didn’t see anyone make sexual advances toward any of the officers and that she didn’t see anyone grope any of the officers. “The people in there were scared. They were all getting out of their [police officers’] way,” she said. “No one resisted arrest. They were singling out specific people, the men who seemed more effeminate. It just seems like it was a deliberate jab at the community.”
Gibson may die from his injuries or suffer permanent brain damage. Pray that he makes a full recovery which is still possible. He is 26 years old, and weighs 160 pounds. It took four or five officers to take him down because he allegedly groped them and yet he was never charged with assault.
We should call this what it is: a violent, homophobic raid to persecute and physically assault gay men, with some witnesses saying that they targeted the smaller and more effeminate men. We need a full investigation and in the meantime the police chief and all those cops who launched this raid need to be suspended until this is cleared up. No police chief should remain in his position after offering the gay panic defense for brutal beatings by cops.