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September 2, 2009


Administrator Alan Steen of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) announced that the investigation into the Fort Worth Rainbow Lounge raid on June 28th has resulted in the firing of three TABC employees.

The investigation found numerous violations of TABC policies, most of which were outlined by Administrator Steen as early as last July in an interview with The Dallas Voice.

Steen said in that interview that if the agents had sought approval from the supervisor before the Rainbow Lounge inspection, it shouldn’t have been granted because he doesn’t think there was sufficient cause for the inspection. He also said that the eight law enforcement officers and the paddy wagon that were present likely constituted an excessive show of force.

In addition, some of the agents wore uniforms that read "STATE POLICE" on the back when, in fact, there is no State Police agency and those are “special events uniforms” which TABC policy prohibits during bar inspections. Agents are only supposed to dress in street clothes when conducting bar inspections.

Agent Trainee Jason Chapman and Agent Christopher Aller were both dismissed from service due to violations of department policy. And, facing the same fate, Sgt. Terry Parsons announced his retirement effective today, September 2nd.

“If our guys would have followed the damn policy, we wouldn’t even have been there," Steen said.

Numerous other internal changes have been instituted within the TABC including the complete overhaul of the cultural diversity training program to make it more effective, especially with regard to sexual orientation.

The Fort Worth police had already announced their intention to cease all such joint operations with the TABC and have instituted numerous policy changes within their department as well. They have also appointed a special liason to the LGBT community and the TABC said they're going to do the same thing.

There is still a separate investigation into the use of force that caused a serious head injury to bar patron Chad Gibson. As soon as the results of that investigation are announced, I'll let you know.

Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin and LezGetReal for some of the information in this article.


Zeke Krahlin said...

That is just so sickening. Maybe Fort Worth gays need to from their own chapter of "Bash Back!":


Steve Krotz said...

Thanks for your comment Zeke. At least they did fire most of the offenders and took steps to prevent it from happening in the future.

Unfortunately, Atlanta police just did an even more disgusting raid on a gay bar there. We're now waiting to see how this one plays out. Of course there are demonstrations going on in protest of what their neanderthal cops did there. What's so stupid is that they obviously thought they could get away with. That's never going to happen again! This isn't the fifties!!

Zeke Krahlin said...

Well, Steve I hope you're right. But since the advent of AIDS and consequent homophobia over the past 2+ decades...one can find greater comparison to the 1950's, than, say, were the 1970's. In fact, I call this ear "McCarthyism on Steroids". There is far more willful targeting against sexual minorities nowadays, than there ever was in the fifties.

In fact, it sure looks like things will accelerate into full-blown anti-gay holocaust before we will ever turn things around. My conclusion:

"Let's secede from those who breed,
Make it a sin to *not* waste seed!"

My site:

Steve Krotz said...

Zeke, I think it's important to keep in mind what's really happening here. As I've said in a number of my postings, the right-wing-nuts, whether they're cops, clergy, congressmen/women or whatever, are becoming more and more desperate and more and more dangerous because we're becoming stronger and stronger and winning more and more battles.

They know they're losing and several of their better known voices have even admitted that fact publicly (see http://desertspeak.blogspot.com/search?q=right+wing+admits+defeat). Of course, politicians (i.e., republicans), fanatic radio show hosts and media commentators are helping fan those flames in hopes of fermenting drastic, hate-filled reactions by the mentally unbalanced among them. If they succeed, instead making it possible for them to grab power (which is what they're "praying" for), it'll have enormous backlash reactions that will destroy any credibility they think they're going to get.

I do agree that we're on the brink but I'm also sure that ultimately WE WILL PREVAIL! As long as we don't turn into them.

Yes, it's getting dangerous out there but since we're NOT going back into the closet, I suggest that we individually train ourselves to be more aware of who and what is around us when we're out and about and, whenever possible, travel with a friend or friends. Also, if you're able, taking a few self-defense classes would probably be a good idea too.

Zeke Krahlin said...

Yes, certainly take self defense...been there, done that. But if truth be known: it takes years of rigorous training to actually be effective. Better to carry legal weapon...guns when permissable, pepper spray everywhere else.

I don't think we'll ever win our rights via conventional methods, such as voting, debating, street demonstrations, and civil dissent. We will wind up having no *choice* but to develop very aggressive strategies, much like the allied underground resistance of WWII.

And that is why I initially posted a link to "Bash Back!" They are a very good start. In sum:

No minority has ever gained its rights w/o going through a wall of violence...or "passage of fire" if you want to be more metaphorical.

Victory *will* be ours of course, but let's not pretend it won't be bloody. 'CAUSE IT ALREADY IS!

Steve Krotz said...

Sorry it took so long getting your comment posted. Somehow, I missed it 'cause it didn't show up in my email alerts.

I agree that it already is a "bloody" battle. That's become more and more obvious with the dramatically increasing violence against us. We knew in the beginning of the radical activist movement in the early 70's that there was a very real danger of being physically assaulted (or worse) but we also knew that to answer that violence with more violence (which was advocated by some) would destroy any credibility we were trying very hard to build and would also wipe-out any empathy our struggle might have engendered.

Instead of being the underdog fighting a just and righteous battle for recognition and equality, we would immediately become the same kind of violent, mindless, hate-mongers we were trying to defeat. Aside from the politically strategic aspect of "fighting the good fight", most of us just simply didn't want to engage in a ground war that could result in serious, physical harm or even death - which was always a very real possibility.

I can pretty much guarantee that had we taken that path then, NONE of the extraordinary advances in community identification, vast (now mostly positive) public exposure in the media, scientific and anthropologic discoveries and advances (which would have continued to be unfunded or ignored), the continually advancing recognition of same-sex marriages and the inevitability of ending gay discrimination in our government and across the country, would have happened at all!