Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead
apologized Tuesday for a raid on a gay bar in June that left one man
seriously injured and sparked a loud outcry from the city's gay and
Halstead told the City Council that he
understood why people perceive a bar inspection on the Rainbow Lounge
as a raid.
“I am apologizing for the actions and
the reflection that this gave our community because they perceived it
as a bar raid … and that was not our intent,” Halstead said of
the June 28 inspection that paired agents from the Texas Alcoholic
Beverage Commission (TABC) and officers from the Fort Worth Police
Halstead's apology stands in stark
contrast from his initial icy comment of “take a deep breath,”
and release of a police report that said officers faced sexually
aggressive patrons. A claim eye-witnesses deny.
Last month's police report alleged that
patrons blew kisses, groped agents and simulated sex acts with police
officers as they carried out their inspection.
According to the report, men and women
“were reaching their hands out to touch officers, and moving their
bodies in a sexually suggestive manner” as officers and agents
inspected the club.
Chief Halstead made no such assertions
Tuesday. Instead, he said that no policies were violated by officers
only because the department's bar inspection policy was void of
specific guidelines. A three tiered inspection policy will be in
place by Sept. 1, he said.
“Once the policy is complete, we're
not going to come here again,” he said, then added: “We are
recovering from this, and I'm very proud of that.”
Officers involved in the raid have been
desked. A final report due next month will determine if police
officers will face disciplinary actions.
A TABC report released in early August
said the two agents and one sergeant involved in the raid violated
procedures, including failing to get approval for the inspection,
failing to report that Chad Gibson was injured while in the agency's
custody, and failing to report that force was used to arrest Gibson.
Eye-witnesses say Gibson was injured
inside the club when TABC agents and/or police officers slammed his
head against a wall. The police report differs, saying Gibson
injured himself outside of the club when he fell and hit his head. A
TABC report on how Gibson sustained his injuries is expected later
this month. Gibson, who was hospitalized with a head injury, says he
has no recollection of the incident.