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Texas alcohol board reports violations in gay bar raid

Three commission employees await discipline in the clash at the Rainbow Lounge in Fort Worth, which left one man hospitalized on the 40th anniversary of the infamous Stonewall raid.

August 07, 2009|P.J. Huffstutter

FORT WAYNE, IND. — The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission released a report Thursday that said three of its employees had violated numerous agency procedures in connection with a police raid on a Fort Worth gay bar in which authorities clashed with hundreds of bar patrons.

Commission officials said that disciplinary actions were pending against Agent Christopher Aller, agent trainee Jason Chapman and their supervisor, Sgt. Terry Parsons, over the raid at the Rainbow Lounge.

Gay rights leaders said that the raid evoked memories of past conflicts with police. It was conducted June 28, on the 40th anniversary of the police raid on New York's Stonewall Inn, an event often regarded as the launch of the modern gay rights movement.

Aller, Chapman and seven officers from the Fort Worth Police Department tangled with about 300 bar patrons during the raid.

Seven people at the bar were arrested, and witnesses said one man had his head slammed into a door by agents. Chad Gibson, 26, was hospitalized with a brain injury and released a week later.

Among other things, the report said that Aller and Chapman had taken part in the raid without agency approval; failed to file the paperwork to investigate the club for possible lewd conduct and sales to intoxicated customers; failed to report the use of force in arresting two people; and failed to report that Gibson had been injured.

Both men have been assigned to desk duty pending further notice.

Parsons, who was not at the club and did not approve the operation, is on leave until he retires in September, according to agency spokeswoman Carolyn Beck.

The commission will release a separate report this summer on its agents' use of force at the club, Gibson's arrest and his injuries, Beck said Thursday.

Officials with the city police said the department needed more time to finish its internal report on the matter.

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p.j.huffstutter@latimes.com

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