Bravo to city leaders for settling with Chad Gibson and George Armstrong for more than $400,000 in the wake of the historic Rainbow Lounge raid, although I’m not sure they had a choice. My colleague Jeff Prince missed the point in last Friday’s post: The very fact that the city is coughing up the cash all but declares that they believe some serious shit went down that night. The “we admit no culpability” clause is legalese for “if you take the money and go away, we get to save face over something really shameful that happened.”
Let’s tally the evidence and the claims. Gibson had a serious concussion, Armstrong a torn rotator cuff (if I remember correctly), and an entire crowded bar was virtually unified in its version of what happened. The Fort Worth police had “Gibson was intoxicated” (at a bar? Imagine that!) and “we were dry-humped.” Unless the arresting officers can produce hump wounds, I’m skeptical.
People love to complain about litigiousness and damage settlements run amok. But the fact remains – an obnoxious injustice requires an obnoxious cut into the city’s bottom line. That’ll help keep the Rainbow Lounge incident memorable to the powers that be.