Cops Raid Atlanta Eagle, Arrest Employees, Patrons Claim Harassment

Last night Atlanta police raided the popular Eagle nightclub, arresting several employees and angering patrons who claim they are being harassed.

About ten police cars and about 15 cops raided the bar, allegedly looking for drugs. However, the police were said to have ordered all patrons to get on the ground–including patrons who were just dancing or standing at the bar–and numerous patrons said people were handcuffed indiscriminately. Bar patrons were furious at the aggressive and indiscriminate treatment and called the incident “harassment.” Patrons also stated that at least three undercover cops were present. One patron stated he knew this because he saw the undercover police first without their badges, mingling with the crowds, and then again with their badges on. However, after all the arrests were made, this writer noticed as several plainclothes men–several Black males and a couple White males–talked in a circle with police officers. They then went to their cars and drove off. It was apparent about 10 undercover police had been there. One police officer stated, as he and others left the parking lot, “This is gonna keep happening if we keep getting complaints from the community.” The officer did not specify what complaints he was referring to.

According to the Eagle’s owner, the bar’s only citation was for allowing go-go boys to dance in their underwear. It was the nightclub’s weekly “underwear party.” Numerous patrons complain of being handcuffed and forced to lie on the floor as they were searched for drugs. No patrons were arrested.

“Everyone was ordered to get on their stomachs and face down during this ordeal. As far as I could tell everyone was searched at least once, most of us twice. Most, but not all, of the officers were incredibly derogatory and insulting whether they found evidence of drugs or not,” Vives said. “When asking why, we were met with derisive remarks and no explanation. I am furious at how we were treated and can’t believe that this has happened in this day and age. The officers present were incredibly rude to anyone who dared to ask what was happening and several were openly hostile towards the gay patrons. Of the officers present, there was one female who was running searches on the IDs of those whose licenses were collected. She was not only rude but seemed to be enjoying the event,” Vives said. “At one point, she stopped what she was doing and walked over to the television and asked her colleagues what the score to the game playing on the television was… this point there were still innocent patrons laying face down on the floor,” Vives said.

More on this story as it develops.