Atlanta Eagle Raid: Complaints Charge Cops With Harassment, Verbal Abuse

The Southern Voice has published some of the complaints filed with the Atlanta police after their raid of the Eagle nightclub, during which many patrons were forced to lie face-down and handcuffed on a filthy floor. According to the complaints, police officers made racist and homophobic comments during the raid.

• One man said officers grabbed patrons who didn’t immediately lie down by the neck and forced them to the ground. The man said he was kicked in the ribs while lying down. “Then I heard laughing and giggling and saying this is more fun than raiding ni**ers with crack. They also told us to shut the fuck up unless we were spoken too [sic].” The man said he heard one person told that if he spoke again he would be hit by a chair. He also reported that one officer “said to everyone in general that all you all do is flash your asses and show your cocks.”
• An Eagle employee said he did not know what he was charged with until he got to jail. “A lot of officers were laughing and high-fiving each other, and I heard one officer say I thought this was a sex club.”
• Another patron described listening to officers chat about their cell phone plans as he lay on the ground. “I was forced down by physical force. They grabbed my neck and pushed me down. They put their boot on my back and told me to stay down. … If anyone asked anything they were told to ‘shut the fuck up.'”
• Another patron said he saw officers forcing people to the ground by officers pushing their shoulders or the backs of their heads. He said he asked to move because there was broken glass on the floor where he was lying, and he was told to “shut the fuck up.” The customer recounted hearing anti-gay slurs: “I heard several slurs such as ‘I hate homosexuals.’ I also heard ‘I don’t like fags.’ One officer asked me if I was married and had any children, and he told me I should be ashamed for being there.” The customer recounted having his diabetes medication, which was in an unmarked container, taken and not returned. He recounted hearing another customer told that if he didn’t be quiet, an officer would hit him over the head with one of the barstools. “There were several officers standing over me that started joking about this is a lot of fun, we ought to come back and do this every week.” The customer said he heard an officer say pictures of men on the walls made him sick, and make comments about people’s appearance, including calling him “big boy.” He also said officers were watching the football game on TV during the raid.
• A customer said he at first thought the bar was being robbed because the first police officer to yell “get the fuck on the floor” was dressed in civilian clothes and did not display a badge.
• An employee who was arrested said that after the customers were allowed to leave, “the officers started high fiving and jumping up in the air bumping into each other like they were at a football game.”
• An employee who lives in an apartment over the Eagle, who said he was not working that night, said someone started pounding on his door. He opened the door to two cops who asked if anyone was having sex there. They asked why there was a bed and he said it was because he lives there. He was made to come downstairs and was arrested with the other employees. He recalled hearing comments like “You people are despicable.”

Southern Voice has also published the anonymously submitted Crime Stoppers complaint (PDF) against the Eagle, which is so incredibly detailed that one can only presume it was submitted by a gay man. Embiggen the below excerpt to see. Did one of our own bring the Atlanta police down on the Eagle? Another club owner, perhaps?