Officers claim that they were "touched inappropriately," resulting in the arrests, though no one was charged with assault. The Chief of Police Jeff Halstead made this alarming statement in support of his officers:
"You're touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that's offensive," he said. "I'm happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that."
However, patrons at the bar and eye-witnesses claim that no one was sexually harassed and that patrons were staying out of the officers' way. Others claim that the officers then singled out bar patrons, especially more effeminate ones. They also have cell phone photos showing a story different from that told by the raiders and their Chief of Police, specifically the unacceptable and questionable force utilized during the raid, specifically showing 5 police officers wrestling Gibson--a 160 lb man half their size--to the ground. Included in the photos are the dent int he wall where a patron's head was smashed into the wall. Officers initially stated that Gibson had fallen outside the bar and received his head trauma, but later revealed that it had indeed occurred during the raid and arrest.
You can read the full story and eye-witness testimony here.
It's 40 years after Stonewall and this kind of crap is still happening in the US! Clearly the officers are willing to use the "Gay Panic" defense to justify their completely unnecessary brutality. A man is in critical condition with the threat of death or a severe head trauma because of a raid that had no justification in the first place and ended in brutality over an occurrence that looks like from photos and testimony never even happened.
This is completely unacceptable! And for the Chief of Police to release a statement suggesting that Gibson should be thankful that all he has is a life-threatening condition that could kill him when no one was arrested for the alleged "assault" is completely disgusting. How can you expect your story to hold water when you have eye witnesses refuting everything that your men did with photo evidence, when your men have to recall their claim that the victim "injured himself," and when you didn't charge anyone with the alleged assault you claim justified your actions?
This is a crock and we need to get angry.
You can contact the Fort Worth Police Department here:
Fort Worth Police Department
350 W. Belknap Street Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 392-4000 email@example.com
Media Contact (Sgt. Criado) (817) 392-4214
Internal Affairs (complaints on officers) (817) 392-4270
Joel Burns, who is the openly gay city council member pushing for an investigation, could use your support too. You can e-mail him at: Joel.Burns@fortworthgov.org. His number is (817) 392-8809.
You can also pressure the other members of the city council:
Councilmember W.B. "Zim" Zimmerman
Councilmember Danny Scarth
Councilmember Frank Moss
Councilmember Jungus Jordan
Councilmember Carter Burdette
..and let's not forget the Mayor of Fort Worth:
Mayor Mike Moncrief
The HRC has also issued a statement here: Read