The damage the department did when it improperly raided the Atlanta Eagle in September 2009 still seemed nearly irreparable. Plus, Powell was replacing former liaison Dani Lee Harris, who was pushed out of the position without explanation, though she claims is was for filing an OPS complaint against a superior.
Just shy of her two year anniversary on the job, the APD announced yesterday that Powell was moving on and taking a position with the department's Background & Recruitment Unit. She's being replaced by former Zone 5 patrol officer Kristin Knight. She'll join liaison Brian Sharp, who was hired in September 2010.
It was around that time we interviewed Powell for a cover story about a high-profile gay bashing in Piedmont Park and how it presented an opportunity for healing between the cops and the LGBT community. She discussed the challenge of basically being the sole member of a one-woman unit assigned to mend a cavernous rift:
"When I first came on in May, it was a challenge," Powell says. "But, what the department's been doing is continuing to get me out there in the community and build that relationship, build that trust back. The only way you're gonna do it is for me to get out there and do the legwork. Are we there yet? No. But since May I think we've come a short distance, but a positive difference."
Josh Noblitt, a pastor and a victim in the Piedmont Park attack, praised Powell's attentiveness to his case, saying she'd been "awesome," adding, "I mean, she sat with me in court."
A little bit about your new LGBT liaison ...
Knight, a native of Milford, Connecticut, joined the department in 2005 and worked as a patrol officer in Zone 5, covering Downtown and Midtown. Last year, Knight joined the department’s Community Liaison Unit in the Community Oriented Policing Section, serving Zone 5.
“I’m looking forward to this wonderful and challenging opportunity to serve as a link between the LGBT community and the brave men and women of the Atlanta Police Department,” Officer Knight said. “As a proud member of both the gay community and the APD, I will take great pride and care in ensuring we continue our mutual respect and understanding. The LGBT liaisons are instrumental in helping foster those partnerships that are at the core of our mission here at APD.”
Prior to joining APD, Knight worked briefly with the Transportation Security Administration. Previously, she worked in the restaurant business and joined APD when she was 23. Officer Knight moved to Atlanta to attend
Clark Atlanta University. She is now working to complete her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Saint Leo University.
To publicize the release of his newest book "NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter," former president Jimmy Carter granted a phone interview to the Huffington Post about his approach to reading and abiding by the Bible in a logical way. (NIV stands for New International Version — I'm not sure if that's a thing everyone knows, because I did not.)
The portion of the interview that's gotten the most attention on Facebook, etc. is the one that contains Carter's thoughts on gay marriage. Basically, Carter says that gay marriages are fine, but churches also shouldn't be forced by law to perform them ...
Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -— he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.
I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine. If a church decides not to, then government laws shouldn’t require them to.
He approaches other topics in an equally — and fittingly — diplomatic manner. Seems his philosophy is pretty well summed up in this quote:
I think ‘judge not that you be not judged’ is the best advice that I will follow. Maybe it is a rationalization, but it creates a lack of tension in my mind about that potential conflict.
Here are the details ...
As part of the settlement, [the plaintiffs' attorney Dan] Grossman also requested the Atlanta Police Department be mandated the police chief fire officers who destroy evidence in a civil case.
Several officers involved in the raid on Midtown gay bar the Atlanta Eagle on Sept. 10, 2009, were accused of destroying evidence but not fired.
"If an officer thinks, oh, well, I'll just get a three-day suspension for deleting cell phone records, then nothing keeps him or her from doing it," Grossman said.
A court order also mandated the city pay Grossman $25,000 in attorney's fees for working to ensure the APD implemented the policy changes mandated from the original lawsuit that resulted in a $1.025 million settlement.
That brings the total city payout for the raid up to $1.475 million.
But violence at 1029 McDaniel Street is hardly a new occurrence.
According to a source — I'm waiting on APD public affairs to confirm the statistics — there have been 384 calls for police respond, 230 direct patrols initiated, and 30 fights reported at the location since January 1, 2011. Last year alone, there were six murders on that corner.
This afternoon, at a press conference that was arranged primarily so the victim Brandon White could speak to the media about his attack, LaShawn Hoffman of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association also spoke. His message: Pittsburgh wants the convenience store at 1029 McDaniel Street gone.
Hoffman began by apologizing to White, not just on behalf of his organization, but "on behalf of the entire community as a whole."
"No one called the police," he pointed out. "[In the video] a MARTA bus passes, people walk down the street like this is the norm — this is not the norm in our neighborhood and it has to stop. We're closing down that store."
Vance Johnson (left) and Derrick Leegrant, both 22, reportedly started the fight while waiting in line for the bathroom at 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, according to Project Q. The manager of Blake's asked 69-year-old retired Atlanta police office J.J. O'Brien, who works security at the bar, to remove the two men. That's when things got ugly.
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.
I've never been to Salt Lake City, and while I've recently learned "Everyone's a Mormon," I just can't imagine that the capital of Utah is a gay utopia on par with Los Angeles or Chicago. Cultural wasteland of America Orlando came in at number two, and you'll never guess who beat Atlanta at number eight: Knoxville, Tenn. Listen, Knoxville is not suitable for anyone of any sexual orientation.
But it's Atlanta's accompanying blurb that really rubbed people the wrong way, specifically one preposterous line.
Since announcing that Outwrite was moving from its longtime location at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, owner Phillip Rafshoon says about 20 people have pointed to possible new spaces for the LGBT bookstore. CL A&E Editor Debbie Michaud has the details.
Vice Unit officers Marlon Noble and Robert Godwin received two-day suspensions for wrongfully detaining Eagle patrons when they weren't suspected of a crime. Investigator Timothy McClain received a four-day suspension for the same reason. The officers who brought appeals before the Civil Service Board last month faced harsher disciplinary action — termination in two cases — because they were found to have lied about their participation about the raid after the fact.
In those hearings, city attorney Amber Robinson argued fervently against the officers being granted appeals by the board. We found this odd considering the city's law department has defended the officers — i.e. claimed there was no wrongdoing the night of the raid — in past lawsuits, and is representing them in a pending lawsuit filed by several additional raid victims.
Noble, Godwin and McClain are also being represented by the city in the pending suit.
Imagine that, a developer running regional planning. Does Jeff Fuqua know about this?
Great picture and caption.
cep, i hope you become homeless.
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