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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.
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