Borders, Keyser speak out about Eagle raid

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imageA raid at the popular Atlanta gay bar the Eagle in which patrons allege police misconduct is now garnering reaction from at least two candidates for mayor.

City Council President Lisa Borders, who is also among the leading contenders for mayor in the Nov. 3 election, released a statement about the incident Friday at 4:45 p.m..

“My office is still gathering the facts pertaining to the arrests made last night at The Atlanta Eagle. Atlantans should expect a high level of public safety, whether in their homes or while they enjoy Atlanta’s city life. I believe in protecting all of our neighbors and will work toward a public safety program that meets the needs of all law-abiding citizens. I will also work to ensure that justice be equally applied to all citizens and to all companies doing business in this city.”

Late Thursday, the Atlanta Police Department arrested eight people during a raid at the Eagle. Patrons who were there during the incident say police acted inappropriately during the raid, yelling profanity at people inside the bar, forcing them to lay face down on the floor while handcuffed for more than an hour, joking during arrests and repeatedly asking patrons if they were married or in the military. LGBT activists are organizing a protest for Sunday at 5 p.m., a change from earlier plans to hold the rally on Saturday.

imageKyle Keyser, a gay man who announced his mayoral campaign Sept. 1, expressed concern over the raid in a statement posted to his Kyle Keyser for Mayor page on Facebook at 3:18 p.m.

Last night at 11:30 p.m. The Eagle was raided in an apparent sting operation. Among the arrests were male dancers and staff, one of them a personal friend. There is obvious outrage in the gay community as the circumstances of the operation are unclear. We need to know the facts of this case. I will be reaching out to the GLBT Liasion Unit to try and find just that.

As a gay Atlantan I share in my community’s concern. I will be joining them tomorrow, Saturday September 12th, to join together in asking for those answers.

Keyser has become a folk hero in some quarters of the city for helping put crime in the public spotlight by creating Atlantans Together Against Crime late last year, motivated in part after being violently mugged. The group hosts monthly rallies across the city to raise awareness about crime, including one in Midtown April 27 that attracted mayoral candidates Borders, Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed, among other elected officials.


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