Public officials who make stupid remarks about minority groups are often branded with the “bigot” label — sometimes deservedly so. But the real rarity is a leader who owns up to mistakes and then tries to move forward and improve the situation with action. Such a person is Fort Worth Chief of Police Jeff Halstead, or so claims North Texas filmmaker Robert L. Camina (Raid of the Rainbow Lounge) in an essay Camina wrote for the Advocate, the national LGBT website of record.
To commemorate the anniversary of the June 28, 1969 Stonewall Inn raid and riots –– widely regarded as the birth of the modern gay rights movement –– Camina praises Halstead for his personal and public evolution on gay rights following a spectacularly botched police raid three years ago on the Rainbow Lounge here in the Fort. Though bitterness no doubt lingers in some quarters, it’s hard to think of another American city that has worked to improve so much so fast in the wake of such a p.r. nightmare. According to Camina, Halstead deserves considerable credit for that.