40 years to the day, history repeated itself in Fort Worth, Texas. In what looks to have been a planned raid by state police and officers with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, State police raided aggressively arrested, and zip-tie handcuffed a number of gay men attending a birthday party for Todd Camp, the founder of Q Cinema and former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and a screening of two Stonewall documentaries.
The arrested men were charged with “public intoxication,” and although the police are claiming that the patrons inappropriately groped the policemen as they entered into The Rainbow Lounge, a number of first-hand witnesses have reported that no such thing happened:
I was one of the dance entertainers last night at Rainbow Lounge. I was dancing on a box in the VIP lounge and was looking right at the first guy that was arrested. The male patron was standing at the bar doing nothing but having a having a drink and a fun time (like people do in bars) when an officer entered that section of the club and made a beeline straight towards him. The officer forcefully spun the man around, shoved him against the bar and placed plastic restraints on his wrists. The officer then marched the man out the club. The guy was stunned and obviously really scared.
Seven men were arrested, and one, Chad Gibson, sustained a head injury and has been hospitalized with bleeding on the brain.
In response to the raid, more than 100 protesters showed up at Fort Worth county courthouse to demonstrate and demand answers.
A facebook page,Rainbow Lounge Raid, has also been started.
UPDATE 1: Reports are putting the number of men arrested at 16-18. I am still working on confirming the exact number.
UPDATE 2: The Dallas/Fort Worth police department has issued a statement: “A thorough internal investigation into the allegations made is being conducted as all allegations against officers are investigated.”
Also, CNN is now covering the story as well. Video after the jump.
VIDEO: The local CBS station covered the story and the protest. Watch it. After the jump.
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