Following Monday’s press conference by the Atlanta Police Department (“APD”) on the controversial police raid on an Atlanta leather bar, a local LGBT rights organisation is asking more questions about the authorities’ actions.
Georgia Equality has called for Mayor Shirley Franklin and Police Chief Richard Pennington to address additional concerns about the situation.
“We call on the Mayor to come forward and explain how this raid makes the city any safer, and whether this was really a wise use of the city’s scarce resources during a economic downtown,” said Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality.
At the conference, the APD said that the raid at the Atlanta Eagle bar was the culmination of a nearly five-month-long investigation.
Georgia Equality noted that violent crimes have plagued the area around the bar and claimed the life of a college student in recent weeks.
“The APD needs to explain why it is that their leadership chose to focus on things such as Go-Go Boy dancing, while at the same time muggers were attacking Georgia Tech students, and drug deals and prostitution continued unabated outside City Hall East,” said Graham.
The raid resulted in none of the 62 patrons or any staff at the bar being charged with engaging in public sex acts or being found in possession of drugs. Instead, eight staff members were charged with not having the correct business licences.
The city has received numerous complaints from those present at the raid about the conduct of police officers; including claims of aggressive and violent behaviour as well as the use of offensive and abusive homophobic language.
Georgia Equality has demanded to know how much money was spent and how many man hours were expended in the investigation and planning of the action.