Well known NYC gay activists Allen Roskoff and Corey Johnson say they were harassed outside a West Village gay bar by a man later identified as an undercover NYPD detective. Chi Chiz, a Christopher Street bar favored by black gay men, has been the subject of a recent raid over allegations of drug dealing inside the club. Club owners are claiming harassment and overzealous prosecution. The day after the raid, Roskoff and Johnson went to the club where the following is alleged to have occurred.
According to Roskoff — who was with Corey Johnson, also a gay activist and the 1st vice chair of Chelsea’s Community Board 4 (which does not encompass Christopher Street) — as they arrived at the club, the young white man was standing outside yelling, “This fag establishment should be closed.” When Roskoff and Johnson confronted the man, he responded to each of them, “You’re a faggot.” Roskoff said he called 911, at which point the man headed east on Christopher until he arrived at the cigar store at Sheridan Square, where he went inside and changed his clothes, before hailing a cab. At that point, a squad car pulled up and the man was asked to step out of the taxi. The officer at the scene said “Oh, no” when he saw the man, whom he recognized as an undercover in his precinct, according to Roskoff, who said he was interviewed by telephone at 2 a.m. by an NYPD Internal Affairs investigator who had arrived at the Sixth.
Thomas Shanahan, who is representing McKenzie and Ray, said that he was told by Laura Mulle, the NYPD legal unit attorney in the Chi Chiz case, that the man who confronted and then fled from Roskoff and Johnson was, in fact, an undercover Sixth Precinct cop, but that he had been put on desk assignment. Mulle would not divulge the name of the officer to Shanahan — she advised him to file a Freedom of Information Act request. Mulle also declined comment to Gay City News, directing the newspaper to the NYPD’s public information office, which did not respond to a request for information about the undercover officer or his desk reassignment. Shanahan said he has served a subpoena naming Joe Doe targeted at the undercover officer, as well as a notice that he seeks to depose him.
A judge is seeking to broker an agreement between the club and the NYPD in which club owners will “guarantee” that no drugs will be sold amongst the customers. One owner responded, “We can’t guarantee that. When the city figures out how to keep drugs off Rikers Island, they can hold us to the same standard.”
(Via Paul Schindler @ Gay City News)