In the early Sunday morning hours of June 28, members of the Fort Worth Police Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a raid on a local gay bar, the Rainbow Lounge. Local equality activists have responded to what they see as discriminatory actions on the part of the two agencies in conducting the raid, in which seven patrons were arrested and one patron received serious head injuries.
The raid took place on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, which many believe sparked the modern-day struggle for LGBT equality.
More than 100 people took part in a July 19 rally at Tarrant County Courthouse, demanding an investigation into the raid. “The Fort Worth community of lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual, and our allies have come together to respond to the actions of the Fort Worth Police Department and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission at the Rainbow Lounge early Sunday morning, June 28,” said the Tarrant County Stonewall Democrats in a statement.
According to the statement, Fort Worth Chief of Police Jeff Halstead and Fort Worth mayor Mike Moncrief have ceased any police officer partnership on any TABC inspections. TCSD also stated that Chief Halstead has agreed to begin the process to appoint a liaison to the LGBT community, as well as to begin cultural diversity trainings for the FWPD.
Mayor Moncrief also released a statement announcing that he called for the US attorney’s office to review the FWPD investigation of the incident; US Attorney James T. Jacks has been appointed to lead the review. – By Nancy Ford