Rainbow Lounge Heats Up

14
Posted July 1, 2009 by dan.mcgraw in Blotch

A group of prominent Fort Worth business leaders and community activists are calling for an independent investigation by private citizens of the TABC/FWPD raid at the Rainbow Lounge. Here is their letter sent today to Mayor Mike Moncrief, city council members, and city staff:

 

Dear Mayor Mike Moncrief, Members of City Council, City Manager Dale A. Fisseler, and Chief of Police Jeffrey Halstead.

 

Re; Rainbow Lounge

 

            As members of this community, we are deeply concerned about the events which occurred at the Rainbow Lounge involving the Fort Worth police and members of the TABC. From the various local, national, and, now, international news reports, it is evident that serious discrepancies exist between the official police statement concerning these events and those of the patrons who were there. Especially given the current economic uncertainties, it is essential that Fort Worth not be perceived as an intolerant or unwelcoming community. Although you, as mayor, have quite properly proposed that Chief Halstead commence an internal inquiry, we respectfully submit that only an independent investigation can lay to rest the concerns of all citizens.

 

            Therefore, we respectfully urge the immediate appointment of an independent citizens’ commission to investigate this incident, with full power and authority to collect evidence, render objective conclusions, and make recommendations, if necessary. Only in this way can Fort Worth be seen as having dealt with the situation openly and effectively.

 

The letter was signed by the following:

 

Maryellen Hicks (former judge and mother of FW council member Kathleen Hick)

Stephen H. Dutton (President and CEO of the Good Samaritan House)

Charlotte Sobel (Ex. Dir. Of the Fort Worth Partnership for Community Development)

James Askey (CFO for Good Samaritan House)

Tom Anable (local accountant who was at the Rainbow Lounge that night)

Jonathan D. F. Nelson (local gay attorney who has been involved in the gay/Episcopal church dispute)

Thomas P. Lang, Jr. (an executive with PlainsCapital Bank)

D. Michael Lynn (a federal bankruptcy court judge)

Joan Kline (local community activist and prominent realtor)

 

“We were very concerned about the public image of Fort Worth, and we all came to the consensus that an independent investigation done immediately was in the best interests of this city,” Nelson told the FW Weekly. “We have people who are calling for this from all walks of life, gay and straight.”

 

“I’ve lived in this city for 33 years,” Nelson continued, “and I love this city. I have not experienced any discrimination in all those years because of my sexual orientation. But when I read the extremely different account of what happened that night from law enforcement and the bar patrons, I think our only choice is to have an independent investigation. We have to act swiftly. This is all about Fort Worth being an inclusive city for all sorts of groups. But if we find members of the power structure who do not share that view, the city needs to deal with it.”

 

Our take on this is that those who signed this letter are some people with some pull in this community. If this was just a group of gay rights activists requesting an independent investigation, the Mayor Moncrief could easily dismiss the demand. But with judges, business leaders, heads of community outreach groups asking for this, we see Mayor Moncrief coming under a ton of criticism if he turns them down.


14 Comments


  1.  
    buddy

    I decided to check out what the blogs were saying about this episode and the hyperbole amazes me… misquoting the chief… on one blog (daily kos i think) he was quoted as saying “them fags had it coming” another blog provided a overly dramatic medical dispatch that the guy with the concussion “might not make it”

    the reality is that this a manufactured tale propogated people that have an axe to grind…

    it all makes me yawn




  2.  
    Terry

    I think you must be referring to the column that Dan Savage wrote, which you can find here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/06/30/fort-worth-police-chief-that-faggot-had-it-coming

    And. . .in no uncertain terms that’s what the police cheif implied, this is what he said: “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.”

    So, now he’s floating the gay panic defense that since one of his officers was touched using restraint means slamming someone to the ground causing a brain injury.. .what’s not using restraint, shooting them in the face? So. . .there you have it. . .in no uncertain terms the police chief just said. . them queers had it coming. Also, I find it very hard to believe that anyone was gropped. I think it’s a blantant lie that’s going to come out in the end. I mean there are numerous witnesses who say this never happened. . .but it’s a classic gay panic defense. . .remember the matthew shepard killers? they did the same thing. . .




  3.  
    CG

    Buddy, That was Dan Savage of Seattle “The Stranger” newspaper. He was giving his tongue ‘n’ Cheek impression of a Texas Lawman… He is famous for getting under peoples skin and does it very effectively. He also gets to the heart of a matter pronto, no beating around the bush. I read that last night also. I’ve been reading about this for 3 days from newspapers, blogs and alternative weekly’s across the country. I’m surprised that the FW Weekly isn’t more of a go to for stories like this.




  4.  
    Betty Ritcher

    Given that this event occurred on the anniversary of the Stonewall raid, it is more than clear that the gays were targeted. Law enforcement can’t admit it, they are just trying to cover it up after the fact.

    No doubt, if you look at the architects of this raid, you will find Christian Extremists that are wholly anti-gay. There seems to be no end to their hatred of the gays — across the country, not just in Fort Worth.

    With the gay pride parades going on in most cities, this was their way to intimidate the gays.

    Just saying…it’s kinda obvious.




  5.  
    buddy

    “architects of this raid”… please back up that accusation… you make wild claims that can’t be proven… what non-sense




  6.  
    CG

    Buddy,
    The police chief did say in his statement yesterday that;

    Nobody >employed by the FWPD< targeted the bar for that date. Kind of like he went out of his way to let us know that.

    Keywords; employed by the FWPD




  7.  
    buddy

    sorry cg…
    i wasn’t being clear enough…
    i meant this part…

    “architects… you will find Christian Extremists that are wholly anti-gay”

    that’s can’t be backed up

    you guys are connecting dots that can’t be connected




  8.  
    buddy

    With all the accusations being hurled at the PD he did have to address it… if he had not you would complain about that too… he can’t win…

    personally I think he’s a wimp… i’d tell everyone to f*** off but he’s obviously politically astute or he wouldn’t be a police chief… he knows how to play the game with all the “stake holders” and he will. he’ll throw someone from the pd under the bus… create some sort of feel good committee and it won’t affect the stuff that really matters like you or me getting our asses jumped by a criminal at hulen mall at 8:30 at night… such is life




  9.  
    New to Sad DFW G.

    Sec. 49.02. PUBLIC INTOXICATION.
    (a) A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another.
    (a-1) For the purposes of this section, a premises licensed or permitted under the Alcoholic Beverage Code is a public place.

    Does it appear this law is obscure?

    All the first hand accounts of that night at the Rainbow Lounge indicate that the standards for definition of sec.49.02 PI – where ineffective to result in arrest.
    Everyone denied there was any indication that anyone arrested was intoxicated to the point of endangerment of he/she or others.
    I guess they (fwpd-tabc) contend that if due to your intoxicated levels you cant defend yourself or others from assault by thugs with a tin badge then you must then be guilty of endangering yourself.
    Why were these people arrested? Does this law require any blood alcohol levels to be determined? Or is this just a way to give the cops an out -when an effeminate walk appears to be a stumbling drunk?
    They approached us with a sexual swagger…..
    What a defense – “he was walking gay“.
    What do you think people? Has anyone on here ever had a PI arrest? What was the outcome?

    Thanks for you input. Peace!! G.

    Obama signs Pride Month Proclamation

    President Barack Obama has signed off on
    a proclamation establishing June as Lesbian,
    Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month
    2009.
    The proclamation is as follows:
    Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of
    the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police
    harassment that had become all too common
    for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual,
    and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of
    this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in
    America was born. During LGBT Pride Month,
    we commemorate the events of June 1969 and
    commit to achieving equal justice under law
    for LGBT Americans.
    LGBT Americans have made, and continue
    to make, great and lasting contributions that
    continue to strengthen the fabric of American
    society. There are many well-respected LGBT
    leaders in all professional fields, including the
    arts and business communities. LGBT Americans
    also mobilized the Nation to respond to
    the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have
    played a vital role in broadening this country’s
    response to the HIV pandemic.
    Due in no small part to the determination
    and dedication of the LGBT rights movement,
    more LGBT Americans are living their lives
    openly today than ever before. I am proud to
    be the first President to appoint openly LGBT
    candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in
    the first 100 days of an Administration. These
    individuals embody the best qualities we seek
    in public servants, and across my Administration—
    in both the White House and the Federal
    agencies—openly LGBT employees are doing
    their jobs with distinction and professionalism.
    The LGBT rights movement has achieved great
    progress, but there is more work to be done.
    LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without
    the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and
    seniors should be allowed to live their lives
    with dignity and respect.
    My Administration has partnered with the
    LGBT community to advance a wide range of
    initiatives. At the international level, I have
    joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize
    homosexuality around the world. Here
    at home, I continue to support measures to
    bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT
    Americans. These measures include enhancing
    hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions
    and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing
    discrimination in the workplace, ensuring
    adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t
    Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens
    our Armed Forces and our national security.
    We must also commit ourselves to fighting
    the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the
    number of HIV infections and providing care
    and support services to people living with HIV/
    AIDS across the United States.
    These issues affect not only the LGBT community,
    but also our entire Nation. As long as
    the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled,
    all Americans are affected. If we can
    work together to advance the principles upon
    which our Nation was founded, every American
    will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call
    upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and
    the American people to work together to promote
    equal rights for all, regardless of sexual
    orientation or gender identity.
    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President
    of the United States of America, by virtue
    of the authority vested in me by the Constitution
    and laws of the United States, do hereby
    proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
    and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the
    people of the United States to turn back discrimination
    and prejudice everywhere it exists.
    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set
    my hand this first day of June, in the year of
    our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence
    of the United States of America the
    two hundred and thirty-third.




  10.  
    MANAQUISHE

    Get FWST’s Barry Shlachter on the case, he’ll start making fun of peoples’ funerals and that’ll get ‘em!




  11.  
    CG

    Hey New to sad dfw,
    I get your point and was thinking the same thing.
    Alot of pissed off conservative republicans right now.
    Probably a few of those in the city of FW.
    Many people have suggested that the FWPD wouldn’t have known the significance of that date.
    They are eaten up inside over Obama and taking it out on what they thought would be an easy target.




  12.  
    CG

    Has anybody heard a word about this from Mayor Moncrief?




  13.  

    yeah.
    The mayor called me tonight and said that he has real problems to work on and doesn’t have time for phony shit like this. I tend to agree.




  14.  
    T&P Tom

    http://www.fortworthgov.org/citypage/default.aspx?id=66874

    Mayor called for investigation. Saw this posted on the city’s website a few minutes ago.





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