One of the six Atlanta police officers fired in the wake of investigations into the botched Eagle raid leaned on Martin Luther King Jr. as he fought to regain his job. Really.
Cayenne Mayes – a former member of the department’s since-disbanded Red Dog Unit (photo) – had his attorney invoke the Civil Rights icon during a four-hour hearing Wednesday before the city’s Civil Service Review Board. That’s the three-person panel of citizens that could undo the punishments police Chief George Turner handed down to officers nabbed for lying and other misdeeds related to the gay bar raid.
Mayes’ attorney, Mary Huber, cited King in her closing argument, according to the GA Voice. More surprising than that is a request from Huber for gay residents to show mercy on the former cop, something he and his colleagues clearly didn’t do when they raided the Eagle.
“I’m going to direct this to the plaintiffs in the [Eagle] lawsuit and to their counsel. The fact that people’s rights were violated — there is no dispute that happened,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean you have to destroy the careers of officers. That’s not necessary. You can do justice without attacking individuals.
“I can guarantee you the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in their quest for civil rights invoke the name of Dr. King. One of my favorite books is ‘Stride Toward Freedom,'” she said holding up the book written by King.
And in this book, King outlines the principals of nonviolence, Huber said.
“One of the characteristics of nonviolence is you direct your attack against the forces of evil rather than against the persons who happen to be doing evil,” Huber quoted from the book.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Kelly Collier – who received a 20-day suspension for his role in the raid – dropped his appeal before the Civil Service Review Board. Why? “Just tired.” More likely, he wanted to avoid the glare of the spotlight cast on his repeated lapses in memory related to the Eagle mess.