Police use LGBT liaison in club owner’s death

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imageUPDATED | 12:42 p.m. Atlanta police continue to investigate the shooting death of black gay club owner and party promoter Durand Robinson and have involved the department’s LGBT liaison in the case.

Robinson (photo), who lived in Decatur, was shot once in the chest and found on Hadlock Street in southwest Atlanta about 1 a.m. Wednesday, police said. Police have not said what prompted the shooting, but residents who called 911 reported a commotion in the street followed by a single gunshot and the sound of a vehicle speeding away, according to police.

“The Atlanta Police Department is exploring all possibilities with regards to the shooting death of Durand Robinson,” Carlos Campos, a police spokesperson, said Thursday morning. “We are aware of who he is and his work and standing in the community.”

Robinson, 50, was an owner of the popular Traxx Atlanta nightclub on Columbia Drive in Decatur. His death comes a week before Black Gay Pride, the annual event over Labor Day Weekend that draws thousands of people to the city for scores of events. Traxx is sponsoring several official events with In the Life Atlanta, which organizes Black Gay Pride, along with other parties at various clubs including Traxx.

Soon after the shooting, friends and colleagues of Robinson notified the department’s LGBT liaison, Officer Patricia Powell, to inform her of his ties to the LGBT community, Campos says. Powell has since been “engaged” in the case, he adds. The agency came under fire earlier this year for not following its own procedures for involving its LGBT liaisons in cases with gay victims.

“Officer Powell has been most definitely contacted and informed and is, in fact, engaged. This is one of the values of having a LGBT liaison. On crimes like these, she can certainly, through the community, be a vital link for us,” Campos said.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Campos said homicide investigators are pursuing several leads, but have not classified the shooting as a bias crime.

“The Atlanta Police Department’s Homicide Unit is investigating all possibilities concerning the shooting death of Durand Robinson in the early morning hours of August 25th. It has reached no conclusions or made any determinations on whether this case will be classified as a ‘bias crime.’ Homicide presently has no suspects or significant information on a motive, but is actively pursuing several leads. We cannot comment or speculate further, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation,” Campos said.

In the Life Atlanta announced Wednesday that the organization will pay tribute to Robinson during Black Gay Pride’s opening Candlelight Vigil on Sept. 1 at First MCC of Atlanta.

The Board of Directors & Volunteers of In The Life Atlanta, mourn the death of Durand Robinson of Traxx Atlanta. His light will be missed, but his spirit and the shared memories will live on in our hearts and the hearts of his family, friends, loved ones and those in the community who knew him.

ITLA will light a special candle in tribute to Durand Robinson during our Candlelight Vigil on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010.

We offer our sincere condolences to the Traxx Atlanta family.

Robinson’s Facebook page has turned into a makeshift memorial since the shooting. Traxx also tweeted about his death on Wednesday.

Today we lost one of the most caring & loving man in our lives.You will truly be missed and we love you with all our heart DURAND ROBINSON

What’s The T, an Atlanta-based black gay entertainment and nightlife site, posted photos of Robinson and condolences.

I woke up this morning around 10am and was greeted with something I would never expect from a Facebook message, a message that said that a loving good friend of mines, Durand Robinson, was carjacked and murdered early this morning. Durand Robinson is one the founding owners of Traxx Atlanta. When I moved to Atlanta, one of the first person’s from the Traxx family to greet me with opening hands and a smile was Durand! ALWAYS WITH A SMILE ON HIS FACE AND A YES ATTITUDE, there are not enough words that could relay what kind of man Durand was. Durand you will truly be missed and never forgotten. This upcoming Pride, Durand would have been celebrating another Birthday. While Durand is not here physically, his spirit will always remain with us and we will do what he would want us to do, CELEBRATE LOVE & LIFE!!! To the Traxx family, I love you and my prayer and thoughts are with you!

Gregory Allen, president and CEO of Xtreme Entertainment, told What’s The T that Robinson was the victim of a carjacking. Atlanta police have not publicly said what led to the shooting.

It is with great sadness that we report the tragic death of our dear friend and brother, Durand Robinson of Traxx Atlanta. Durand was the victim of a car jacking this morning and was killed.

Durand was a loving and humble person that always sought common ground regardless of the situation. For those of us that knew Durand, this is a very difficult pill to swallow. We in Atlanta mourn his death and request your prayers and thoughts for his family and the management and staff of Traxx Atlanta.

“I love people and like making people happy. ‘Treat people the way that you would like to be treated.’ I love peace. ‘No drama, please.’ the children are our future.” Quote From Durand Robinson

No further information is available at this time. As soon as we have more details and information regarding arrangements, we will share them with you.

Robinson’s business partner, Philip Boone, told WSB that his death is a tragedy.

“This was devastating for our community and the Traxx family. He was an angel … we will miss him,” said Boone.

Traxx promoter Gerald Thompson told the GA Voice that he and other friends of Robinson were “trying to hold it together.”


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