An internal investigation into what
went wrong during a June inspection of a gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas
has resulted in three firings.
In a statement released Friday, the
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) announced two agents and
one supervisor have been fired and two additional supervisors have
The TABC said agent Christopher Aller
and agent trainee Jason Chapman were fired Friday. Both men
participated in the June 28 bar raid on the Rainbow Lounge that
resulted in the arrests of six people for public intoxication and
sent one man, Chad Gibson, to the hospital with a severe head injury.
The agent's supervisor, Sergeant Terry Parsons, who had reportedly
taken an early retirement, was also fired, effective September 2.
A 32-page report released earlier in
the month found that Aller and Chapman failed to get approval for the
inspection initiated by TABC agents, failed to report that Gibson was
injured while in the agency's custody, and failed to report that
force was used in his arrest.
Parsons failed to adequately supervise
the agents and report their violations, the report said.
Lieutenant Gene Anderson, Parsons'
direct supervisor, is being suspended without pay for three days and
will remain on probation for six months. Captain Robert “Charlie”
Cloud, who oversees the Dallas and Fort Worth TABC offices, has
received a written reprimand for failing to adequately monitor
supervisors and agents.
The actions were announced by TABC
Chief of Field Operations Joel Moreno, who said he remained confident
that management could regain the trust of the community.
“The first step is by working more
closely with their employees, mentoring them and serving as positive
role models by exemplifying the agency's four cornerstones: service,
courtesy, integrity and accountability,” Moreno said in a
statement. “It is essential that every employee understands our
core value: We do the right thing, not what we have the right to do.”
Last month, TABC Administrator Alan
Steen admitted procedures had been violated: “When you look at the
whole totality of that particular night, nothing went right, nothing
went right for anybody,” Steen told gay weekly the Houston
Voice. “We can't go back and fix it, but we can move forward
and make sure that all of us learn lessons and do a better job.”
Six Fort Worth Police Officers
accompanied TABC agents in the gay bar raid. Earlier this month,
Police Chief Jeff Halstead shifted from his initial icy position of
“take a deep breath” to a public apology. However, he said no
policies were violated by officers because the department's bar
inspection policy did not include specific guidelines. Halstead
promised a three tiered inspection policy would be in place by Sept.
The raid sparked a loud outcry from the
city's gay and lesbian community, which has called the raid police
harassment. A July police report that suggested officers and agents
turned violent because they faced sexually aggressive patrons – a
claim eye-witnesses deny – exacerbated the situation.
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, the
police report says. The report alleges that Rainbow Lounge patrons
blew kisses, groped agents and simulated sex acts with police
A separate TABC investigation of the
use of force during the raid is expected in September.