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August 10, 2009


The highly anticipated results of one of the investigations into the Fort Worth, Texas Rainbow Lounge raid that resulted in the hospitalization of one patron with serious head injuries, were just released this past week.

The investigation was conducted by the internal affairs division of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). It found that two TABC agents and a supervising Sergeant committed a total on 19 policy violations while conducting their now infamous raid against the Rainbow Lounge.

According to the official media blog of the LGBT Dallas Voice, Agent Christopher Aller committed eight violations, Agent trainee Jason Chapman committed seven violations and Sgt. Terry Parsons committed four violations.

Violations committed by the two agents include participating in a joint operation with Fort Worth police without approval from a supervisor; failing to submit a complaint card against the Rainbow Lounge; conducting bar inspections in unapproved attire; failing to follow bar inspection procedures; failing to report the use of force and injuries involving Chad Gibson, a Rainbow Lounge patron who sustained serious head injuries; and disrupting business during a bar inspection.

The violations committed by Parsons, who was not at the scene of the raid and has since reportedly retired from the agency, involve failing to take appropriate action against Aller and Chapman; failing to ensure Aller and Chapman filed the necessary reports; and failing to notify the sergeant’s supervisors of the raid.

Disciplinary action is pending because the three TABC employees have the right to file a written response to the report within five working days.

Fortunately, their problems won't end there because the TABC is also conducting a second investigation (still underway) into the use of force during the raid. It will take into account statements by TABC employees, Fort Worth police officers, other eyewitnesses and specialized expert witnesses. Because of the complexity and seriousness of this kind of investigation and because the force that was used resulted in serious head injuries for patron Chad Gibson, it will take longer to complete.

The Dallas Voice blog posted a verbatim copy of the actual report. If you want to check that out, go to: Dallas Voice

Thanks to the immediate and overwhelming response from the Ft. Worth community and the LGBT community throughout the country and around the world, this was one police harassment incident that was impossible to sweep under the rug. And yes, some of them did try to do just that in the very beginning - before the worldwide media descended on them.

Of course, I'll keep you posted as soon as the results from the second investigation are released.