TABC Admits Policy Violations At Rainbow Lounge
Today the news media is getting the results of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) investigation into the Rainbow Lounge raid, and after a quick look at the report here in the Fort Worth Weekly newsroom, it appears that TABC is saying they made mistakes that night but they aren’t responsible for Chad Gibson’s head injuries.
The TABC report says its three agents on the scene that night violated 19 of TABC’s own policies.
The report includes some comments from the agents, including this one from TABC Agent Christopher Aller who denies any hidden agenda or vendetta against gays: “I violated some policy issues. I did not violate anybody’s constitutional rights. Nobody was abused, violated; we weren’t there because of their sexual orientation. I’m very apathetic. I could care less.”
Meanwhile, Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead felt the need to explain why his own investigation is crawling so slowly toward a conclusion. Here’s his just-released statement:
“The Fort Worth Police Department appreciates TABC’s internal investigation and its findings as we continue to investigate the accounts and actions of our department concerning the Rainbow Lounge incident that occurred on June 28, 2009.
“The TABC report released today demonstrates the complex nature of this investigation. The Fort Worth Police Department investigation involves obtaining accounts from each individual involved, over 35 witnesses, 10 police officers, and the time consuming process of reconciling any differences in the statements involving so many people. Therefore, the completion of the investigation is expected to take longer than the previous mid-August target date. It is our intent that the Police Department investigation establishes a factual account of what occurred at the Rainbow Lounge.
“The Fort Worth Police Department understands that patrons of the Rainbow Lounge and the community expect a report in August. Therefore, we have asked for time on the August 18 Pre-Council agenda to provide City Council, patrons of Rainbow Lounge and the community a progress report of our investigation.
“While we know there are many who have been patiently waiting for the results of this investigation, including me, the Fort Worth Police Department wants to ensure that all of the facts are gathered, all of the statements are obtained, and all of the witnesses have been provided ample opportunities to come forward to provide their accounts of the incident. It is of utmost importance that we honor our commitment to the community by providing a thorough and complete investigation into the Rainbow Lounge incident.”