TABC Admits Policy Violations At Rainbow Lounge

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Posted August 6, 2009 by Jeff Prince in Blotch

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.”


8 Comments


  1.  
    professor buddy

    Jeff,

    It’s a shamed the raid didn’t happen a few weeks later, specifically on June 27th… because if it had perhaps Bradley Larson would have been arrested too and wouldn’t have ended up a casuality of his own stupidity. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about… http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local-beat/Rainbow-Lounge-Bartender-Killed-in-Wreck.html

    I think Chad Gibson should write a letter of thank you to the TABC for sacking him up… otherwise he might have ended up wrapped around a telephone pole too.

    Thank God for small blessings.




  2.  
    C. McNeil

    Professor Buddy, June 27th would have been the day before the raid. Do you even know if Chad Gibson was driving that night? No, and the police didn’t ask either.




  3.  
    professor buddy

    Mr/Ms McNeil,

    Thank you for your earnest correction. I apoligize. I should have written July 26th. Keen observation on Chad’s mode of transport though. You’re correct. He didn’t drive to the hospital. The fact that he was under arrest for being piss drunk prevented that.
    I believe that your self-righteous indignation has blinded you to see my point though… namely that serendipity plays a strange role in our lives… Chad’s might have ended that night had he not been sacked up by the police.




  4.  
    TonyJazz

    Professor, your statements are quite absurd. If we closed all the bars in Texas, some other people might not be killed either.

    Let’s take it further: get everybody off of the roads, and imagine how many lives could be saved.

    Get back to reality: this was a raid by bigotted police officers targetting a gay bar. How many straight bar patrons in Texas end up in the hospital during police raids? (And how many times do the police lie and say that someone flirted with them during the raid?)

    Bigotry is alive and well in Ft. Worth!




  5.  
    Professor Buddy

    Hey TonyJazzHands,

    Face it. The Rainbow Lounge was out of control. There’s a solid pattern of reckless behavior at this establishment and unfortunately it ended with a fatality. You ask how many straight patrons end up in the hospital during bar checks. Well, there would be plent if bar patrons decided to grab the groin of the officers. May I suggest to anyone reading this that if you’re out and about when a bar check occurs, please refrain from crotch grabs, dry humps, or anything else that might demonstrate that you’re piss drunk because it might get you zip tied and when you topple over from having been over-served you won’t have your hands to break the fall.




  6.  
    TonyJazz

    It is clear that the credibility of the officers involved is low, and that the crotch-grabbing thing was a poor justification for banging someone’s head.

    Professor buddy, you seem determined to justify the raid, don’t you? What solid pattern are you familiar with (you’ve cited a single instance)?

    (You are suggesting that gay patrons are much poorer at managing their behavior than other people?)




  7.  
    Professor Buddy

    No, I’m suggesting that drunk people do stupid things.

    Here’s your pattern:

    1.Drunk “zipper guy” asleep in car
    2. Strange “thong people” sitting on picnic tables
    3. Drunk person arrested outside location three days prior to the bar check
    4. Hijinx during bar check
    5. bartender dies after driving drunk on -I30

    “banging someone’s head” This is a lie.
    He fell and bumped his head.




  8.  
    Jackson

    I’ve said it before…but, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I’ve been to enough bars to know how people act and how much TABC officers can be complete a-holes.

    Trust me, I’ve been at straight bars over the years when you occasionally see the completely shitcanned patron taken out forcefully by cops.

    Everyone was in the wrong a little bit. Over eager TABC officers + drunks + gay bar = it’s a no win situation.

    I’ve seen the same thing go down in straight bars, it’s just not a story when you can’t throw around words like homophobe and profiling and that kind of thing.

    It’s about time we all move on.





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