News (USA)

Protests over gay bar raid escalate, Atlanta police release complaints

Atlanta EagleATLANTA — Days of protests over an Atlanta police raid on a gay bar continued Tuesday afternoon, this time reaching city hall.

About 20 protestors showed up for the Atlanta City Council’s Public Safety Committee meeting, claiming the Sept. 10 raid at the Atlanta Eagle bar was uncalled for and heavy handed, reports WXIA-TV.

Witnesses say about 20 undercover and uniformed police officers made more than 60 customers lie on the floor while they searched them. All the customers were set free after a background check, but 8 bar employees were arrested on entertainment license violations because they had no dance permits.

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Police say the raid was the result of some undercover officers seeing public sex acts performed at the club several months ago, but no such acts were seen Thursday night.

On Monday, the Atlanta Police Department released copies of nine complaints filed with its Office of Professional Standards by patrons and employees of the gay club, reports Southern Voice.

Police Chief Richard Pennington said in a news conference Monday that the raid was a result of an undercover operation that began after anonymous complaints about sexual activity were received in May.

Pennington publicly apologized on Monday, saying his department would look into any possible misconduct by any of his officers.

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