By kelli Anne Busey
Mayor Mike Moncrief
On the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Fort Worth Texas police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC) enforcement officers and possibly a State Police officer conducted what they described as a routine planned ‘bar check’. According to the police report the owner had been notified earlier that a inspection was to take place at his newly open establishment. The owner was not overly concerned because in the past a bar check normally entailed officers quietly and unobtrusively checking driver license.
However this was not the case, this time.
The officers entered the Rainbow Lounge according to the Fort Worth Police Statement , to ensure the owners were complying with laws requiring them to provide “a safe environment for all”, at 12:30 am on June 28, 2009.
TABC Code of Enforcement
Public Intoxication – A person commits an offense if the person appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger the person or another. [Section 49.02 Penal Code]
Public place means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops. [Section 1.07 Penal Code]
According to Shane Wells an entertainer who witnessed the first arrest, the officers randomly picked patrons to harass and intimidate in hopes of provoking a response. They then physically assaulted and arrested male patrons.
The woman who were present offered an account which is equally disturbing. Kayla Lane said an officer offered unwanted sexual advances after being asked what was going on. “He wouldn’t really answer my questions. although he did try to grab my hand and flirt with me (which was completely uninvited).”
Tiffany offered this comment on ‘Instant Tea’ “It seemed like the officers were provoking their victims as well. One man that had been arrested was standing on the side walk while an officer was being very aggressive and kept pushing the man around and trying to argue with him. The man finally asked him to stop touching him because he was just trying to stand still. It was really bizarre! None of the men that I saw arrested were visibly intoxicated and they all cooperated considering the way they were treated.”
“This will not deter me from going back. I hope all that were arrested are giving them hell now. An injustice was done.”
KDAF-TV Councilman Joel Burns Statement Concerning “Rainbow Lounge” Raid “Rest assured that neither the people of Fort Worth, nor the city government of Fort Worth, will tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens. And know that the GLBT Community is an integral part of the economic and cultural life of Fort Worth.”
“Every Fort Worth citizen deserves to have questions around this incident answered and I am working aggressively toward.”
Sergeant Pedro Criado
For Immediate Release
FORT WORTH, TX –
DETAILS AND SEQUENCE OF EVENTS LEADING TO A BAR CHECK AT THE RAINBOW LOUNGE:
On Thursday evening, June 6, 2009, a TABC Agent entered into NPD2 and teamed up with a patrol officer in order to conduct alcoholic beverage code inspections of area clubs. While they were out, they performed these inspections into the Friday morning hours. At approximately 10:00 p.m., Thursday evening, they stopped by the Rainbow Lounge located at 651 S. Jennings in anticipation of conducting an inspection as this club is newly opened and has not received an inspection before this date. While waiting on the supervisor to arrive, which is standard operating procedure, the owner of the Rainbow Lounge approached the officers asked if there was a problem. The TABC agent explained they were waiting on a patrol supervisor to make the scene before conducting an inspection of his establishment. An inspection at the Rainbow Lounge was not conducted on this date (Friday). Other locations, however, were inspected as a continuing effort to educate and enforce over serving alcohol to intoxicated individuals.
On Saturday morning, June 27, 2009, a person identifying himself as the owner of the Rainbow Lounge called the local police station and spoke with a supervisor to ascertain if there was a problem at the Rainbow Lounge. At approximately 3:30 p.m., a Fort Worth Police sergeant spoke with the owner of the Rainbow Lounge and explained they were conducting alcoholic beverage code inspections in the area. The owner advised the sergeant officers were welcome anytime to conduct an inspection of his establishment. The sergeant advised the owner of the Rainbow Lounge that officers would return to the area this evening to continue inspections and would inspect his establishment.
On Sunday morning, June 28, 2009, at 12:30 a.m., six (6) Fort Worth Police Officers, two (2) TABC agents and a supervisor conducted inspections at 160 W Rosedale (Rosedale Saloon and Cowboy Palace). This inspection resulted in nine (9) arrests. Once the inspection was completed at these locations, officers proceeded to the Rainbow Lounge.
Officers arrived at the Rainbow Lounge to conduct the scheduled inspection. Some officers remained outside while some entered the club. While walking through the Rainbow Lounge, an extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor. This individual was arrested for public intoxication. Another intoxicated individual also made sexually explicit movements towards another officer and he was arrested for public intoxication. A third individual inside the lounge assaulted the TABC agent by grabbing the TABC agent’s groin. He was escorted outside and arrested for public intoxication. The decision was made to release him to paramedics due to his extreme intoxicated state as he was repeatedly vomiting. While dealing with this person, another officer requested assistance from inside the club as he had an intoxicated individual that was resisting arrest. This person was placed on the ground in an effort to control and apprehend. A total of seven (7) arrests were made from the Rainbow Lounge during this inspection. The total arrest count for the entire evening totaled 16.
Alcohol beverage code inspections are conducted frequently at establishments located within the city limits of Fort Worth. These are conducted in order to ensure a safe environment for all. A thorough internal investigation into the allegations made is being conducted as all allegations against officers are investigated.
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Instant Tea Raid on Rainbow Lounge
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