Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not Guilty!

An Atlanta judge found three defendants in the Atlanta Eagle gay bar case not guilty Thursday and threw out the charges against the other five defendants.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Municipal Judge Crystal Gaines said city police failed to produce evidence proving that men danced naked without permits or that the bar operators were running an unlicensed adult establishment. The decision comes as defendants and others involved with the Ponce de Leon Avenue bar are countering with a lawsuit in federal court against the city and Atlanta police officers.

"We always thought from the beginning that we were charged for no reason," bar co-owner Richard Ramey, who was not a defendant, said after the decision. "They had no right to be there," he said of the police.

The case stems from a Sept. 10 raid. Late that night, a swarm of officers detained and searched about five dozen Eagle customers, making some lie handcuffed and face down on the club's floor. Some customers said they were not allowed to move for an hour and that they endured anti-gay slurs from the officers.

According to police records, police raided the club because of reports of drug activity and because undercover officers reported seeing men having sex at the club while customers looked on. But the raid produced no charges of drug use or illicit sex. READ MORE
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