DALLAS VOICE PUBLISHES EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS OF RAINBOW LOUNGE RAID--NEED NEWS ON CHAD GIBSON'S CURRENT STATE.
Randy Norman is general manager for the Rainbow Lounge. He said he saw a man on the dance floor, dancing, who was approached by police officers.“They threw him down, put the zip ties on him and took him out,” Norman said. “He told them he was not drunk, and asked that they do breathalyzer on him. But they refused.”
ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Council Members Want Investigation Of Gay Bar Raid
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) ―
Two City Council members said Monday that the public deserves answers about a weekend police raid at a gay nightclub where a man suffered a serious head injury.
"I've asked for as thorough a report as possible ... to reassure folks that the police are not singling out any group," Councilman Joel Burns said Monday.
Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks said she was "very concerned" after hearing from patrons and others in the community about what happened early Sunday at the Rainbow Lounge.
Chad Gibson, 23, remains hospitalized with bleeding on the brain, his sister Kristy Morgan told Dallas-Fort Worth television station WFAA. Gibson is not violent, and "for anyone to come back and say he did something to provoke this is ludicrous," Morgan told Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW.
Fort Worth police went to the Rainbow Lounge with Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents early Sunday as part of routine alcoholic beverage code inspections, said police Sgt. Chad Mahaffey. They first went to two other bars and arrested 10 people, he said.
Then officers went to the Rainbow Lounge and encountered two drunk people who made "sexually explicit movements" toward officers and another who grabbed a TABC agent's groin, according to the police report.
No one was arrested for assault but about half a dozen people were arrested on charges of public intoxication, according to police records.
Police Chief Jeff Halstead said Gibson had grabbed at the agent's groin and was so drunk he was vomiting and fell and hit his head. Gibson was one of those arrested but was taken to the hospital instead of jail.
Halstead said he did not know more details about how Gibson was injured but that the department had started an internal investigation into the raid.
The TABC is waiting on a report from the Fort Worth office about the weekend incident, but "given the concerns that have been raised, it would not be unusual" for an internal probe to be launched, said agency spokeswoman Carolyn Beck.
George Armstrong, 41, said he had been at the Rainbow Lounge about 30 minutes and had ordered one drink when officers stormed inside. He said as on officer passed him, he smiled and flashed the peace sign, but then he was suddenly grabbed and tackled to the floor with his arm twisted behind his back.
"He was yelling at me to stop resisting arrest, but I wasn't doing anything. It was horrible. I really thought he had broken my shoulder," Armstrong told The Associated Press on Monday. "I've never been so embarrassed and humiliated. I didn't do anything to him."
Armstrong was arrested, but he said no officers advised him of his Miranda rights or administered any tests to determine his blood-alcohol level.
He said he noticed that other people who were arrested were injured or said they had been tackled by police.
When Armstrong was released from jail the next day, he went to the hospital, where his arm was put in a sling after X-rays determined his shoulder and back were severely bruised and strained, he said.
Armstrong said he never saw anyone inside the Rainbow Lounge make lewd gestures at or grab the officers. He said the raid happened very quickly at the club that had just reopened.
"To me it seemed like they were trying to make a point," Armstrong said.
The Human Rights Campaign on Monday also called for an investigation into the incident. It is the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.
Burns said he also was disappointed that the raids took place on the 40th anniversary of New York City police raids on the Stonewall Inn, but he said police didn't realize it was the anniversary. The 1969 raid touched off demonstrations that helped lead to the gay rights movement in the U.S.
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