City, police to get sued over Eagle raid–again

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image And you thought the Eagle raid lawsuit and its $1 million settlement were over and done with. Gird your loins for Eagle Raid Lawsuit 2.0. That ought to make the upcoming town hall with the mayor so much more interesting. The attorneys behind the original Eagle lawsuit – the one that exposed the misdeeds behind the botched shitstorm of a raid on Sept. 10, 2009 and cast a pall over the relationship between a new mayor and police chief with the city’s LGBT residents – are the same ones signed up for the sequel. It’s Gerry Weber and Dan Grossman (top photo), who later went on to expose other rogue police officers and even raw sewage. image“It is disappointing to watch the city force victims to file a lawsuit to receive fair compensation for what they experienced during an illegal raid that was motivated by prejudice and bigotry,” Dan Grossman says in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “The city has once again chosen the most expensive and difficult way to resolve this painful matter.” The second lawsuit will include patrons at the bar during the raid who were not part of the original federal lawsuit, which was settled last December for $1 million, sweeping reforms for the Atlanta Police Department and apologies from Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta City Council. Weber and Grossman have tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a settlement with city attorneys for additional bar patrons, but face a Sept. 9 deadline to file the lawsuit. That’s when the two-year statute of limitations runs out. It’s not clear how many people many be included as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, or if it will include Chris Lopez. The former Eagle bartender filed his own complaint with the city about the raid after being excluded from the original lawsuit, which was filed in November 2009. (UPDATE: Lopez said Tuesday that he will not be part of the second lawsuit.) “It is time for the City of Atlanta to put the Eagle matter to rest, but time and again the actions of the City show that city leaders just ‘do not get it.’ The Eagle Raid victims should all be fairly compensated and reforms must be fully implemented,” Weber says in the press release. Weber and Grossman say the second lawsuit against the city and police will have three goals – fair compensation for the additional victims of the raid – financial terms of the original lawsuit have not been publicly disclosed; procedural reforms prohibiting Atlanta police from destroying evidence; and compliance with the settlement terms from the original lawsuit. In addition to the lawsuit, the Eagle raid led to two investigations that provided sweeping indictments of police conduct, the firing of six officers and disciplinary action against others, and led police Chief George Turner to task a newly-promoted deputy chief to clean up the mess. Reed and Turner are scheduled to attend a town hall meeting to discuss the Eagle raid. The Nov. 1 session is the third such public forum focused on the event.


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