ATLANTA — Patrons and supporters of the gay leather bar the Atlanta Eagle are gathering today at 5 p.m. in the parking lot of the establishment to hold a rally to protest a controversial raid where eight employees were arrested by Atlanta Police on Sept. 10.
On Friday night, supporters gathered at the bar in a support of solidarity and held hands and raised their arms in the air to show their strength as community.
Attorney Alan Begner is representing the Eagle and expects some kind of legal action to take place, but he was not sure as of Saturday.
Earlier Friday, the Atlanta Police Department issued this statement:
The Atlanta Police Department conducts routine inspections of city businesses with valid alcohol permits. The City received several complaints with descriptive information about alleged criminal conduct at the Atlanta Eagle Club located at 306 Ponce De Leon.
In an effort to ensure compliance with the law, the Police Department investigated the complaints and during the investigation police observed criminal behavior taking place at the Club on September 10, 2009. While the Police were conducting a compliance check it lead to the arrests of eight employees. The Department views all complaints of criminal conduct as serious and will utilize resources to investigate and deter criminal activity in order to create a safe environment.
While there have been allegations of improper behavior by police officers conducting the investigation, there have not been any official complaints filed with the Atlanta Police Department.
According to patrons present during the raid, no one was allowed to leave the building until after police had leisurely checked the IDs of patrons forced to lay prone on the floor. Police collected IDs and personal belongings. Challengers were told “Don’t speak until spoken to” or “Shut up.”
The Eagle is located at 306 Ponce de Leon Ave. and remains open. The rally Sunday night will be followed by a short march to City Hall East, located at 675 Ponce de Leon.
Full story at Southern Voice.