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Atlanta Eagle Raid

News and Information

Local and national news coverage is available at Google News.

See our blog posts about the Atlanta Eagle police raid that took place on the evening of Thursday, September 10, 2009.

Additional news will be posted through our blog, which is available via RSS, e-mail, our Twitter feed, our Facebook wall, or our FriendFeed aggregator.

UPCOMING EVENT: Community Forum with APD and LGBT Leadership, October 5 at 6:30 p.m.

Filing a Complaint

Were you a patron at the Atlanta Eagle during the September 10 raid?
If so, we highly encourage you to file a complaint with both the Atlanta Police Department Office of Professional Standards, as well as the Atlanta Citizen Review Board.

Public Responses, Documents, and other resources

If you think something should be added here, please feel free to contact us.

Lambda Legal case links and documents

posted Dec 28, 2009, 7:58 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Dec 28, 2009, 8:02 AM ]

The case announced by Lambda Legal now has a link on their docket website. You can find the original scanned PDF version of the complaint there. has run the PDF through an optical character recognition (OCR) program to produce searchable text of the complaint, attached in the PDF and Word files below. Note that these versions are not official, may contain OCR typographical errors, are for reference purposes only.

Candidate Miguel Gallegos: statement 2009-09-13

posted Sep 18, 2009, 9:25 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 18, 2009, 9:26 AM ]


Chief of Staff/Deputy Campaign Manager 
Mitch Esmond - 404-993-9338 

For Immediate Release                                                            September 13, 2009 


Miguel Gallegos, candidate for District 6 expresses deep disappointment in the actions taken by the Atlanta Police Department on September 10, 2009 at the local gay bar The Eagle. "It is outrageous that the police handled this affair in the manner that they did." said Gallegos while visiting the club this afternoon and offering his assistance to help get the 7 employees that were arrested released. Gallegos said “I have made some calls to a few judges regarding this matter and they have agreed to allow those arrested to make bond and be released immediately."

Gallegos said "What I find most shocking is the claim that the bar was visited based on a noise complaint. While a noise complaint against a bar in a residential area is not uncommon I cannot remember a time it required the actions the police undertook in this situation."

Members of the Atlanta Police Department's vice squad entered the club on Ponce de Leon Avenue at about 11 p.m. on Sept. 10 and shut the club down. Patrons and employees were made to lie on the floor, were handcuffed, driver licenses were taken and background checks were run before patrons were allowed to leave.

Richard Ramey, owner of the club said his employees were arrested for dancing without a license. Atlanta Police LGBT Liaison Officer Danni Lynn Harris confirmed Friday morning that eight employees were arrested, but did not or would not disclose on what charges.

Gallegos said "people guilty of nothing but enjoying music and dancing should not find themselves face down on a dirty floor and handcuffed, then searched for drugs and have their ID's run. When did the Atlanta Police decide they can do whatever it is they want to people that have done nothing but go out for an evening. Has the Atlanta Police Department learned nothing from a similar event in Dallas, Texas a few short months ago or the murder of an elderly lady by Atlanta Police a few short years ago?



The pattern and practice of police harassment and terror in the city of Atlanta is out of control and a few bad officers are giving all the other hard working officers who obey the law a bad reputation not to mention a bad reputation for our city.  "The police do not have carte blanche to profile and target members of any community and abuse their rights in a wholesale manner," "During the incident patrons were treated badly, threatened by officers and even called slanderous names such as faggot and queer.

I support the police department and the need to have a safer community to live in, but we cannot support the actions of officers that blindly ignore the civil rights of its citizens. That is why when I am elected I intend to introduce law that will restrict the ability of police to conduct a raid on any business in this city without a notification and approval by the city council. We need to encourage business and welcome new business to this city in order to continue to support the growth of the city. We will not be successful in our efforts if we allow actions like this to ever happen again. 

(How-To:) File a Complaint

posted Sep 17, 2009, 9:23 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:50 AM ]

ONLY IF you were a patron at Atlanta Eagle on September 10, 2009, you can file a complaint with two independent agencies. We recommend you file a complaint with both:
  1. Atlanta Police Department Office of Professional Standards
    950 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd NW (map)
    Atlanta, GA 30318
    (404) 658-6830

  2. Atlanta Citizen Review Board, an independent agency formed by City ordinance in 2007
    City Hall Tower, Suite 9100
    55 Trinity Ave SW (map)
    Atlanta, GA 30303
    (404) 865-8628
    FAX: (404) 546-8401

    Online complaint form (PDF format)

On the other hand, if you are simply a concerned citizen, you may call:

Atlanta Police Department - GLBT Liaison
Officer Danni Harris
(404) 695-7408

Please be courteous. Officer Harris has been supportive of our community and was not involved in the raid incident.

Atlanta Police Department: documents released 2009-09-14

posted Sep 15, 2009, 1:48 PM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:17 AM ]

The attached PDF is of the documents distributed by the Atlanta Police Department after their public statement on Monday, Sep. 14.  The first nine pages are police reports; the last two pages are anonymous complaints.

Candidate Kasim Reed: statement 2009-09-12

posted Sep 13, 2009, 7:51 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:18 AM ]

(Kasim Reed is a candidate for Mayor of Atlanta. This statement was issued via his website.)

September 12th, 2009

I am deeply concerned by initial reports I have heard about the raid at the Atlanta Eagle. While all the facts are not yet known, any claims of discrimination, intolerance, or excessive force being used by our Police is a matter of the highest priority. Therefore, I am calling for an immediate, thorough and transparent investigation to be conducted by both APD and the Citizen Review Board. At the conclusion of this inquiry, if misconduct is found to have taken place, the officers should be held accountable. Conversely, if the police are found to have acted in accordance with proper procedure and without malice, that should be reported as well. As mayor, I will ensure that our city is a place where the rights and dignity of all its citizens are valued and protected every day.

Media Contact
Reese McCranie
(770) 596-9440


Media Contact
Reese McCranie
(770) 596-9440

Candidate Lisa Borders: statement 2009-09-13

posted Sep 13, 2009, 7:48 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:23 AM ]

(Lisa Borders is a candidate for Mayor of Atlanta. This statement was released as a follow-up to her earlier response.)

September 13, 2009
For Immediate Release
Liz Flowers

Borders Calls for Investigation Into Eagle Raid
Says police leadership must be accountable

Atlanta, Ga. - September 13, 2009 - Acknowledging the ongoing investigation into the undercover raid that took place Thursday, September 10 at the Atlanta Eagle Bar, Mayoral candidate Lisa Borders is calling on the Atlanta Police Department to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident.

"While no official complaints have been filed, allegations have been made regarding police misconduct during the arrest at the Atlanta Eagle bar. It is important not to jump to conclusions, but it is as important to pursue equal justice for all citizens," Borders said. "I call upon any person present the night of the arrests to step forward and file a formal complaint, to begin the process of investigation."

Borders said a recent and similar incident in Ft. Worth, Texas has increased equal rights concerns within the Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered communities. She said an investigation would reveal any inappropriate conduct and determine if any police officers involved in the incident used defamatory statements or tactics during the arrest.

Borders said a balance between the interests of individuals to be free from persecution and the ability of the police force to effectively combat potential criminal activity must be achieved.

"Atlanta's police officers work hard every single day, placing themselves between the bad guys and the rest of us. In speaking with officers, they have made it clear to me they would also want to know if proper protocols were followed," said Borders. "Under my tenure as mayor, we will have clear procedures to guarantee that no civil rights will be violated."

Borders, who called for the ouster of Chief Richard Pennington in 2007, has said the next chief to head the Atlanta Police Department will be more accountable and visible to the rank and file and the public. She also believes the department should make better use of specialty officers charged with working with constituency communities, such as the LGBT liaison officer.

"You must empower people to do their jobs and that empowerment comes from good leadership," Borders said.

Borders said if an investigation proves there was inappropriate conduct during the arrest process, she would call for the guilty parties to be punished immediately.
# # #

Candidate Kyle Keyser: statement 2009-09-11

posted Sep 13, 2009, 7:44 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:19 AM ]

(Kyle Keyser is a candidate for Mayor of Atlanta. This statement was posted to his Facebook page.)

Last night at 11:30 p.m. The Eagle was raided in an apparent sting operation. Among the arrests were male dancers and staff, one of them a personal friend. There is obvious outrage in the gay community as the circumstances of the operation are unclear. We need to know the facts of this case. I will be reaching out to the GLBT Liasion Unit to try and find just that.

As a gay Atlantan I share in my community's concern. I will be joining them tomorrow, Saturday September 12th, to join together in asking for those answers.

[Ed.: The above was posted before the rally date was changed from Saturday to Sunday.]

Candidate Mary Norwood: statement 2009-09-12

posted Sep 13, 2009, 7:18 AM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:21 AM ]

(Mary Norwood is a candidate for Mayor of Atlanta. This statement was sent to blogger Dustin Brookshire.)

Public safety is a crisis in our city, and we must make sure that our police maintain the support of all our communities have the resources they need to keep us safe, and we as citizens must have confidence that the considerable power we invest in our police is used wisely. Over the last day, a number of constituents have expressed their concern to me over events at the Atlanta Eagle bar. While it is not yet clear what transpired there last night, the events of September 10th clearly have a number of Atlantans concerned. As we learn the details of the events at the Eagle we must ask ourselves three questions:

Were there crimes being committed at the bar?

In a time when violent criminals are roaming our streets, was this the most efficient use of our scarce police resources?

Were the patrons present that night treated fairly and with the dignity and respect they deserve?

Only when these issues are resolved will we be able to have a full picture of what happened and whether everyone acted appropriately.

Candidate Wayne Shannon: statement 2009-09-12

posted Sep 12, 2009, 6:21 PM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:22 AM ]

(Wayne Shannon is a candidate for Atlanta City Council, Post 2 At-Large.)

I propose that all adult entertainment be moved to Underground Atlanta.

That will become Atlanta's Red Light District for the protection of all club patrons, owners and also neighborhoods.   It's a WIN WIN WIN.

Here's the real clincher:

Keep it open 24 hours for International Travelers.  Tax every table dance and use the funds to replace improperly high property tax assessments and rates to fund infrastructure and education needs.  

This isn't my idea.  I've heard it around midtown from some savvy proprietors.

Atlanta's PD can focus on bigger issues and contain all adult entertainment in the underground.

Sex is the worlds oldest industry.  It's all over town so it's time that Atlanta just admit what it is made of and then capitalize on it.  

Separation of church and city is necessary for progressive reform.

Sooner or later Atlanta will learn to come out of the closet about it's true quality.  Showcase the Pink Pony and Cheetah in the underground.  It's better than dozens of random little sex shops and strip clubs mixed into neighborhoods throughout town.

It's time to rise up and be proud of what is here in Atlanta.  Move over Coca Cola, here comes Cheetah. 

Anyone else have a better idea?  Like video poker machines to addict our citizens.  

Fact:  every $1 a state earns in gambling revenue costs $3 in social programs to deal with crime prevention, addiction counseling and homelessness.

Want more revenue for infrastructure development?  Legalize Marijuana inside of Underground Atlanta. Penalize all other drugs except coffee, Coca Cola and Alcohol.  Penalize it outside.  Control it and tax it rather than spend millions trying to intercept it.  The result:  BILLIONS of dollars in revenue just from tourism alone.  BILLIONS saved on federal drug trafficking allocations that can be used in social programs instead of drug traffic intervention.

Atlanta could become America's most progressive city.  Citizens could stop being charged for the mismanagement of a city based on skewed out of touch ideals. 

Loosen up Atlanta.  Pull all the clutter out of the closet and have a yard sale.

These are all just ideas.  Compare them to the reality that we live in.  It's all around us anyway.  This is a global issue, it's not just Atlanta. 
Any better ideas?  How about rebuilding the street cars that were pulled out due to influencial automobile industry lobbyists?  

Sacrificing short term political gains in exchange for long term burden seems to be a recurring theme in many governments.

It's time we put all the cards on the table and look at the deck we are playing with.     

Profiting on a novel idea requires timing.  

Our infrastructure needs hundreds of BILLIONS not millions.  It needs to happen in YEARS not decades. 

It's time to wake up and shake off the facade.  This is where we are.  Look around you.  Read the police reports.  Read the federal drug seizure reports.  Read the international lobby to become progressive with Marijuana laws. Realize that Marijuana is a commodity.  It's the number one cash crop in many southern states. Realize that strip clubs and street prostitution are two different industries. 
These industries happen to be profiting in Georgia.  It's time to legitimize, tax, control and let society reap the benefits instead of pay for an ongoing attempt at defeating them.  

It's society that supports these industries behind closed doors.  That's the irony of it all.   

 I see a lot of unhappy home owners in Atlanta.  Unhappy with neighborhood adult entertainment clubs, unhappy with traffic, taxes and lack of funding for PD and FD professionals.  

I'd like to see 5,000 APD strong with increased compensation.  Frustration will continue within understaffed agencies.  Frustration leads to compromising standards of conduct.  

If the industries that we pay to control could instead add to the nations GDP, many of our nations cities could establish sustainability.

Conducting social cleansings to exterminate the values less than our own is expensive and its a war that can't be won.  Why?  

Well, let's look at the human nature component of the problem.  We have got human beings that frequent strip clubs as a form of social entertainment and possibly to satisfy an unmet personal need.  Maybe some enjoy watching the worlds oldest industry in operation.  As for Marijuana-possibly some smoke the herb to resolve medical and personal needs without a prescription.  There is not always a "sinning" element involved as would a strictly Christian view of these industries would suggest. 

It's time that the buckle of the bible belt loosen up a notch.

Welcome home Atlanta.  Open your eyes, you've been here all along!  Stop selling out to a false vision and start selling something other than Coke.    

Wayne Shannon

Candidate Tiffany Brown: statement 2009-09-12

posted Sep 12, 2009, 6:21 PM by Todd Vierling   [ updated Sep 17, 2009, 9:22 AM ]

(Tiffany Brown is a candidate for Mayor of Atlanta.)


Contact: Bryant Childs

Brown for Atlanta Campaign

(843) 469-1765                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       E-mail:





September 12, 2009 - I am shocked and saddened this injustice that occurred American Eagle nightclub. This combined with senseless death of Kathryn Johnston while executing the “No Knock” warrant in 2006 illustrates the importance of sensitivity training that needs to occur in the Atlanta Police Department.


All citizens deserve decency and respect even when the law is enforced. As Mayor of Atlanta, I will request a complete reorganization of the Atlanta Police Department due to its recent problems. I will review the way the Department operates, always with an eye toward improving the way the Atlanta police Department protect residents.


As Mayor, I would authorize a Police Advisory Commission with real governing rights. The Atlanta Police Advisory Commission would be the official civilian oversight agency of the City of Atlanta for the Atlanta Police Department. The general mission of the Commission is to improve the relationship between the police department and the community. The Commission, in its diversity of composition and in its functioning, is intended to represent the external point of view of the Atlanta citizenry.


The Commission will be authorized by Executive Order to conduct investigations of individual citizen complaints of police misconduct, and/or studies of police department policies, procedures or practices. Findings and recommendations made by the Commission are forwarded directly to the Mayor, the City Managing Director and the Police Chief for their review and appropriate action.


The commission will be created with the help of The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE). NACOLE is a non-profit organization that brings together individuals and agencies working to establish or improve oversight of police officers in the United States.



Talk to Tiffany Brown on Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. If you have any questions or need any further information you can contact Bryant Childs at (843) 469-1765 or e-mail us at

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