Fort Worth settles suit in Gay bar raid
 

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posted Friday, March 25, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 12

Fort Worth settles suit in Gay bar raid
by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The City of Fort Worth, Texas, will pay $400,000 to a man injured in a raid on the Rainbow Lounge Gay bar in 2009.

The Fort Worth City Council approved the payment to Chad Gibson on March 22.

Gibson suffered head injuries in the raid, which took place 40 years almost to the minute after the famous Stonewall Inn raid in Greenwich Village, which sparked the modern Gay liberation movement.

He was hospitalized for more than a week.

Fort Worth police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents said they entered the bar to investigate incidents of public intoxication.

A TABC agent alleged that Gibson groped him. Gibson was arrested and subsequently charged with assault on the agent. He charged that he was the victim of excessive force by law enforcement officers.

Two TABC agents and their supervisor were later fired, and three Fort Worth police officers were suspended for improper conduct in the raid.

Both agencies conducted internal investigations but decided that no excessive force was used.

Nevertheless, Fort Worth's mayor, police chief, and the head of the TABC apologized to the public - although not to Gibson or any of the bar patrons arrested by their officers.

By the end of 2009, the Fort Worth Police Department had appointed a Lesbian officer to act as community liaison with the LGBT community.

The City of Fort Worth said the settlement with Gibson is not an admission of liability but will avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.

The TABC said it too is considering settling with Gibson in the separate claims he filed against that agency.



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