NCSF Asks Community to File Complaints With Police About Eagle Raid

4 11 2009

Well, I had wanted to talk about John Baku’s latest project today. But a more urgent matter has come up, and since I like to be somewhat timely on my blog, I decided to bump John (Sorry man) and talk some more about the Atlanta Eagle Raid.

On November 3rd, the NCSF issued a news release, which I will quote below.

ACTION ALERT
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
Lawless cops are a threat to everyone in America
NCSF joins state and local representatives in urging everyone to file a complaint if they were present at the Eagle on September 10th, when the Atlanta police illegally detained 62 patrons and 8 employees and searched them without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. You can file a complaint with the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Citizen Review Board which is investigating the raid:
http://atlantaeagleraid.com/how-to-file-complaints
If you need to maintain anonymity, then please contact Dan Grossman, who represents the Eagle and many of the patrons in connection with the raid. Mr. Grossman can be reached at (404) 654-0326, or at a special email address established for this matter: AtlantaEagleLawyer@gmail.com.
CONFIDENTIALITY IS GUARANTEED UNDER ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you ask a lawyer for legal advice, the lawyer can’t reveal anything you tell him, including your name: the police can’t require it, your name can’t be subpoenaed, and the court can’t demand it. If a lawyer breaks attorney-client privilege, he or she will be disbarred.
“It’s so important that our patrons come forward,” says Richard Ramey, co-owner of the Eagle. “Everyone needs to hear how badly our civil rights were violated.”
“Please call today!” urges Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF. “This is a clear human rights violation. If we don’t speak up, they won’t stop persecuting us. We are the only ones who can fight for our rights.”
To read more about what happened at the Atlanta Eagle, visit http://AtlantaEagleRaid.com
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is funded solely by donations. Please visit our website to make a donation and help support this ongoing work: http://ncsfreedom.org/
Please distribute this Action Alert widely (filed November 3, 2009)

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual and relationship expression. NCSF advances the rights and advocates for consenting adults in the SM-Leather-Fetish, swing, and polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach in conjunction with our partner organizations to directly benefit these communities.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Media hotline: (917) 848-6544 Office: (410) 539-4824
media@ncsfreedom.org
http://ncsfreedom.org/
http://twitter.com/ncsf
http://ncsf.wordpress.com

If you were there, please help fight this injustice.

MV

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Atlanta Police Raids Atlanta Eagle

16 09 2009

Last Thursday, the Atlanta Police Department decided to stage a raid on the Atlanta Eagle. For those not in the know, the Eagle is a leather bar in Atlanta. While I haven’t been to it, Eagles are usually nice places (all independently owned) for those interested in Leather Men or the like to hang out. I was disturbed to read that the Eagle was raided on Thursday. A great writeup by the Atlanta Progressive News was written by someone who was there.

The present writer for Atlanta Progressive News–who had come to the bar to dance–witnessed as several bar staff and male dancers were arrested between approximately 12:30am and 1am and taken away in paddy wagons, but it is not immediately clear why. One source stated he believed it was because the bar did not have a license for the dancers. (CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated patrons had been arrested; no patrons were arrested).
About ten police cars and about 15 cops raided the bar, allegedly looking for drugs.
However, the police were said to have ordered all patrons to get on the ground–including patrons who were just dancing or standing at the bar–and numerous patrons said people were handcuffed indiscriminately.
Bar patrons were furious at the aggressive and indiscriminate treatment and called the incident “harassment.”

(There are a lot of details in the article that I would recommend that you read.) Politicians running for mayor have criticized the raid. And the NCSF has condemned the raid.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
NCSF Condemns the Atlanta Police Department’s Raid on the Eagle
September 15, 2009 – On September 10th, the Atlanta Eagle was raided by local police who used excessive force and voiced anti-gay slurs while handcuffing 62 patrons and 8 employees, forcing them to lie face- down on the floor for over an hour. The strong use of force included the presence of the “Red Dog unit” which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.
Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press conference yesterday afternoon stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor’s office. One undercover officer stated in a September 11th report following the raid that it was the “conclusion of a several week investigation involving indecency and the club was providing adult entertainment without the proper permits to do so.”
“It’s a clear violation of the civil rights of those who were detained without cause,” says Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson. “Instead of making an arrest at the time of the alleged offense, the Atlanta vice squad spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer’s money to raid the gay leather bar and persecute Atlanta citizens.”
NCSF demands a full probe into the alleged misconduct and the allocation of resources by the Atlanta police department. NCSF also joins state and local representatives in urging anyone present the night of the arrests to step forward and file a formal complaint. Please contact NCSF for additional assistance to ensure that this matter is investigated in an open process.
A rally on Sunday at the Eagle drew a large presence in support of the victims by the LGBT community. Another rally is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF)
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual and relationship expression. NCSF advances the rights and advocates for consenting adults in the SM-Leather-Fetish, swing, and polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach in conjunction with our partner organizations to directly benefit these communities.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (917) 848-6544 media@ncsfreedom.org http://www.ncsfreedom.org http://www.twitter.com/ncsf http://ncsf.wordpress.com

Personally, I am horrified that this kind of thing goes on. If you actually live in Atlanta, I would suggest that you contact your city government and let them know how you feel.

There was a protest in Atlanta this past Sunday, I wish I lived close enough so that attending the protest would have practical for me. Hundreds showed up. That is a good start. The inquiry is expected to last until at least December or January. I only hope that this doesn’t get brushed under the rug in the mean time.

Let me know what you think, in the comments.

MV









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