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July 6, 2009


In an excellent, in-depth piece in Saturday's edition of the New York Times, James McKinley Jr reported that in addition to Chad Gibson's serious head injury, another patron of the Rainbow Lounge raid suffered broken ribs and a third had a broken thumb.

Also, according to a Box Turtle Bulletin post today, another man, George Armstrong, suffered severe bruising and muscle strain when he was arrested on the tenuously ambiguous charge of public intoxication even though he claimed that he was not drunk.

In a telephone interview with the Dallas Voice Armstrong said that he had gotten to the bar about 12:45 a.m. and had only been there about 30 minutes when Fort Worth officers and TABC agents swept in and began arresting people.

"I looked up and there was this swarm of police coming in.

I saw them making their way through the crowd, and I just kind of smiled at one of the officers and flashed him a ‘peace’ sign,” he added. “The next thing I know, he was coming at me. He tackled me to the ground, twisted my arms up really hard behind my back. I just kept saying, ‘What is wrong? Why are you doing this? Why are you touching me?’”

Armstrong said the officer told him he was being arrested for public intoxication, then took him outside and had him sit on the sidewalk until he was placed in the nearby van and taken to the police station. Officers outside, he said, “apparently found it really humorous. There was a lot of smirking and smiling going on.”

“When the guy tackled me in the bar, I landed on my shoulder. My shoulder and back took all the force of the fall. I was lucky that I didn’t hit my head like [Gibson] did. But I was hurt. I was in a lot of pain,” Armstrong said. “I told them at the police station that I was really hurt, but they just ignored me.”

After pleading not guilty before a judge, Armstrong was released around noon and drove straight to the emergency room at Baylor All-Saints Hospital where doctors treated him for severe bruising and muscle strain in his shoulder and back.

Since the incident occurred, Ft Worth Police Chief Jeffrey W. Halstead has backed off his initial support of the officers involved and has suspended joint operations with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). Under intense public and political pressure, he has also ordered a full police department investigation and promised to give police officers “multicultural training.”

Also, the Dallas/Ft Worth Television News has reported that the TABC has instituted it's own internal investigation of the incident and has reassigned the two TABC agents involved to desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

The incident has had wide coverage in the mainstream media and several demonstrations have already taken place - with more planned. There have also been calls from GLBT activists and state and local politicians for broader, outside investigations of the TABC and Ft Worth Police Department actions.

BTW - Chad Gibson remains at JPS Hospital but his family said he is improving and his condition was upgraded from serious to fair. His doctors have said however, that he will still suffer from severe, recurring headaches for at least the next couple of years.

UPDATE 7/8/09...
365.com reported that Chad Gibson was released from the hospital and is now at home.

The police are still trying to claim that Gibson feel to the ground causing his head injury but multiple eyewitnesses continue to refute that saying that Gibson was slammed into the wall and then down to the floor by out of control police officers.

In an interview following his release, Gibson also denied the police claim that he grabbed at the crotch of one of the officers. He was backed up by other eyewitnesses who said that neither he nor anyone else grabbed at anyone's crotch.

Several investigations are being conducted but however it turns out, it won't change that fact that Gibson will most likely suffer from severe recurring headaches from that incident for several years to come.