Monday, September 14, 2009

Pennington apologizes for Eagle raid — but leaves more questions

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 11:21 PM

There were four notable things to take from Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington's press conference today about the Sept. 10 raid at Atlanta Eagle:

  • The Atlanta Police Department received a complaint in May about alleged illegal behavior taking place at the Eagle. Undercover officers visited the club on two separate occasions before Thursday's raid.  The officers said they witnessed sex between patrons at one or both of these two occasions, but not at last week's raid.
  • Pennington says he regrets that he didn't notify Officer Danni Lynn Harris, the department's liaison to the LGBT community, about the raid. He says Harris should have been present.
  • Pennington says patrons were frisked for the officers' safety.
  • Pennington apologized for the incident.
  • Which begs the following questions:

  • If public sex was the only illegal activity that the Eagle was being investigated for, and the officers did not witness any sex during last Thursday's raid, why did they detain everyone for up to two hours after the fact?
  • Is investigating public sex inside the bars and clubs of Atlanta a priority of the APD?
  • Are there ongoing investigations into other Atlanta bars and clubs where public sex is allegedly taking place?
  • What's the timeline for the investigations into multiple accusations of officers' excessive use of force and anti-gay slurs against the Eagle patrons?
  • If those allegations are proven true, what punishment is being considered? What will be done to educate officers to lessen the possibility of this happening again?
  • Am I missing anything else?

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