Board may uphold Eagle false arrest complaint

Add this share

imageREAD MORE | View our complete coverage of the Eagle raid

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board, during a meeting Thursday, is poised to uphold the complaint of one of the eight men charged in the police raid of the Eagle that he was falsely arrested.

The meeting marks the first time the ACRB will publicly discuss one of at least 10 complaints filed by patrons of the bar in the wake of the Sept. 10 raid. ACRB staff is recommending that the 11-person review board uphold the allegation by David Shepherd that he was falsely arrested during the raid, according to Cristina Beamud, ACRB’s executive director.

The board, which is chaired by lesbian and neighborhood activist Joy Morrissey, will vote to either uphold or dismiss the staff recommendation. If the complaint is sustained, the board may also recommend that the Atlanta Police Department discipline any officer involved.

“We are discussing only one of the many complaints that was filed, this one by Mr. Shepherd, who alleges that he was falsely arrested. That is the case we will be considering tonight,” Beamud said Thursday. “We want to be sure to address each individual complaint.”

Once the board acts, the ACRB investigation will be released to the public, Beamud said. The ACRB will address the remaining complaints stemming from the Eagle raid in the coming months.

Shepherd and seven other men were arrested in the raid after nearly two-dozen police officers stormed the bar as the result of an undercover investigation. The raid resulted in a firestorm of controversy and complaints that police verbally and physically abused patrons in the bar.

In addition to complaints filed with the ACRB, the police department also launched an internal investigation – which remains open nine months after the raid – and patrons at the bar filed a federal lawsuit. Shepherd is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The criminal cases against Shepherd, a manager at the Eagle during the raid, and six others were either dismissed or the men were found not guilty during a day-long trial in March. An eighth man did not appear in court and faces a bench warrant for his arrest.

The Eagle raid has also plagued the young administration of Mayor Kasim Reed, who took office in January. As a candidate, Reed criticized the raid and since taking office has pledged that a similar incident won’t take place under his watch as mayor. But he’s faced scrutiny for his statements about the federal lawsuit. The continued criticism from the raid has stung Reed.

Reed’s administration has also been in a pitched fight with the ACRB over its authority. That struggle led the City Council to issue subpoenas for officers involved in the Eagle case. The City Council later passed legislation allowing the ACRB to issue its own subpoenas.

ACRB’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in Committee Room 2 at City Hall. It includes a public comment portion at the end of the session.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...