Rainbow Lounge Raid Leads To City Coffer Raid

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Posted March 18, 2011 by Jeff Prince in Blotch

rainbow

Weekly staff writer Dan McGraw recently wrote about the Innocence Project and two wrongly convicted men who served long prison sentences because they wouldn’t accept plea bargains. Neither could force themselves to confess to a crime they didn’t commit, even if it meant spending the rest of their lives in prison. It goes against human nature to admit to something you didn’t do.

The city of Fort Worth subscribes to a different line of thinking.

Star-Telegram cop writer Deanna Boyd writes today about how city bean counters are urging the Fort Worth City Council to pay $400,000 to a man who was hurt during the Rainbow Lounge police raid. However, the aforementioned bean counters want everyone to rest assured that just because they’re ready to give away nearly a half-million dollars of taxpayer money, it ain’t no thang.

An agenda item for Tuesday’s council meeting includes this gem: “Approval of this settlement should not be construed as an admission of liability by the City of Fort Worth, any liability in this matter being, in fact, expressly denied.”

So, you strongly deny your innocence even as you offer to shell out 400k?

Why?

Well, that’s in the agenda too:  “This settlement is entered into only to avoid time-consuming litigation.”

money-kiss

Oh, now I see. Even with a ginormous budget shortfall and cuts in city services looming, it’s easier to shell out 400k than to waste time defending your own credibility. After all, the police officers involved have been investigated and deemed innocent of using excessive force.

McGraw and I reported on the Rainbow Lounge raid and interviewed loads of people, including eyewitnesses, and it was impossible for us to determine  what really happened. Conflicting stories abounded. Police said gay men were dry humping them.  Customers said the cops stormed in with tiger blood on their fangs, ready to crack some gay skulls. People at nearby gay bars said the cops stop by there on occasion and are always pleasant and respectful. The customer most injured at Rainbow Lounge — and the one who might receive the city’s big payout — was allegedly intoxicated.

I don’t know what happened. I’m not going to guess. But city officials should not pay anything to anybody if they truly believe the city bears no liability and did nothing wrong. And I believe most taxpayers would agree. Let’s see what the city council decides.


7 Comments


  1.  
    Roy

    You should not have covered the Rainbow raid, and should not pretend even now that you are unbiased. Your anti-gay prejudice is clear.
    The police (and TABC) had absolutely NO business at the Rainbow that night. There was no history of alcohol laws being broken. There was no history of any incidents, events, or behavior warranting police or TABC interest, let alone massive and violent enforcement. There was no complaint lodged by anyone about anything.
    The cops and the state goons just showed up with guns, nightstick, a paddy wagon, and homophobia and began shoving, insulting, and butting heads.
    I hope the city is out much, much more than just $400K. This should continue to bite for a long time.
    And why don’t you pass over any future posts about anything gay-related to someone who can handle it.




  2.  
    jeff.prince

    I’m not sure how you got anti-gay out of that post. I’m not anti-gay in the least. My point was that it’s disingenuous for the city to say, “We did nothing wrong and our investigation shows police did not use excess force, however we’re going to pay $400,000 because we don’t want to waste time defending ourselves.” I’m anti-that.




  3.  
    jodymoury

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  4.  
    ldfrmc

    Article’s author: “I don’t know what happened. I’m not going to guess.”

    Should have stopped writing at that thought.




  5.  
    Roy

    And a few other things: First, $400K is laughable and almost as insulting as the usual cop lie of “He groped me!” Gibson needs a new lawyer if he can’t get a good six figures from this outrage.
    Second, the cops responsible for this travesty STILL haven’t been canned, and that should be a required part of any settlement.
    Finally, the homophobic writer of this post, Prince, made up the term
    “dry-humping,” as no one, not even the lying cops who perpetrated this institutional gay-bashing, used it.




  6.  
    jeff.prince

    Here’s a link to one of my blog posts from 2009 entitled “Police: Rainbow Lounge Patrons Dry Humped Cops”
    http://www.fwweekly.com/index.php?option=com_wordpress&p=673&Itemid=12




  7.  
    Snoop

    City culpability is maxed at $500,000, so 400K is a pretty decent settlement. IF it were to go to trial, he might get less money by the time the lawyers get their cut. I think the money should come from the policemans salary that were on the raid. It’s not the taxpayer’s fault these guys acted like jerks.





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