Lambda Legal has filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta Police Department on behalf of 19 people who say they were forcibly searched and detained during a raid on an Atlanta gay bar. The suit says the raid was flat out illegal, and as a constitutional rights lawyer who publishes a gay rights blog, I flat out agree.
I have been in touch with attorney Dan Grossman, and agree with his assertion that Police Chief Richard Pennington and the 48 officers named are not above the law. There are three co-counsel who have filed the case jointly, so technically it is The Southern Center for Human Rights Daniel Grossman, Esq, and Lambda Legal which filed the lawsuit jointly.
The suit notes that the police unlawfully searched and detained people who are were suspected of a crime. Police said at the time they had received several complaints about criminal conduct at the club before the raid, but as I note in my column below, there were other ways to go to deal with it, short of an illegal police action.
Having just read the suit, it is formidable, credibly proving that patrons were battered, brutalized, and beaten, humiliated and detained without rhyme or reason, cause or justification. No gay community can let this stand.