Monday, January 23, 2012

What the hell is going on at Blake's in Midtown?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Blakes from the halcyon days of 2005
  • CL File
  • Blake's from the halcyon days of 2005
Did an APD officer call one of the patrons at the popular Midtown gay bar Blake's "sweetie" and "princess" while breaking up a fight early Saturday night? Did that bar-goer throw a drink in the officer's face and punch him? What the hell is going on at Blake's? Let's break it down.

Project Q has an early report of the melee:

The incident took place about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday. A spokesperson for Atlanta police said that two people were arrested after police responded to a fight call at the popular 10th Street gay bar ... Several uniformed Atlanta police officers responded and rushed into the bar, according to this witness who asked to remain anonymous.

Some responding officers called patrons in the gay bar “sweetie” and “princess,” according to the witness. He also alleges that another officer ordered a man to stop recording the scene on his mobile phone, knocked it out of his hand and then ordered the man to delete most of what he recorded.

Double no-no, APD. Did the botched 2009 Atlanta Eagle raid and your new LGBT liaison teach you nothing? But APD spokesman Carlos Campos responded with this statement:

One of the males refused [to leave Blake's] and threw his drink in the officer’s face and then punched him in the face. At some point, a call for assistance went out over the radio and several Zone 5 officers and a supervisor arrived on scene. One of the individuals damaged a third person’s vehicle in the parking lot and was charged with Criminal Damage to Property. The first individual that punched the off-duty officer was charged initially with Felony Obstruction.

If someone condescendingly called me princess, I might throw a drink in their face too. Now sources are saying the alleged police brutality never happened. Longtime Blake's employee Lynn Barfied told the GA Voice that "there was no discrimination by the Atlanta Police Department against patrons of the bar."

"No one was hurt, no one was taunted or were physically abused by anyone. The only people that got hurt was our staff, trying to apprehend the jerks that started the whole mess." ... "They [the APD] show up any time we need them at our bar for incidents just like this. It's not news to us, it's what we deal with every weekend. How the rumor of officers discriminating against anyone got started is beyond me," she added.

Was it a rumor, or is Blake's trying to cover its butt? Earlier this month, two men were mugged while returning to their parked cars from Blake's.

Bad things are going down at the corner of 10th and Piedmont, the former ground zero for gay Atlanta. LGBT bookstore Outwrite is vacating its landmark shop and a chain Italian restaurant is opening across the street. Atlanta Police's LGBT Advisory Board will be meeting tonight to discuss the fight and resulting arrests and hopefully speak about crime in Midtown. But there's one question I need answered immediately: just what were those two queens fighting about in the first place?

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