Reed calls for ‘immediate’ probe into Eagle raid

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imageMayoral candidate Kasim Reed on Saturday called for an “immediate, thorough and transparent investigation” into a raid at the Atlanta Eagle on Thursday that resulted in eight arrests.

Reed (photo) became the third major candidate for mayor — and fourth overall — to weigh in on the Atlanta Police Department’s raid of the Eagle. The incident has come under intense public scrutiny and criticism as allegations of anti-gay and racist slurs, along with heavy-handed police tactics, have come from patrons and employees of the bar ensnared in the raid.

A protest is set for 5 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the bar on Ponce.

Reed, a former state senator, is the first public official to call for an investigation into the raid.

I am deeply concerned by initial reports I have heard about the raid at the Atlanta Eagle. While all the facts are not yet known, any claims of discrimination, intolerance, or excessive force being used by our Police is a matter of the highest priority. Therefore, I am calling for an immediate, thorough and transparent investigation to be conducted by both APD and the Citizen Review Board. At the conclusion of this inquiry, if misconduct is found to have taken place, the officers should be held accountable. Conversely, if the police are found to have acted in accordance with proper procedure and without malice, that should be reported as well. As mayor, I will ensure that our city is a place where the rights and dignity of all its citizens are valued and protected every day.

City Council President Lisa Borders, also a candidate for mayor, issued a statement Friday afternoon that says she will “work to ensure that justice be equally applied to all citizens and to all companies doing business in this city.”

City Council member Mary Norwood, who is also seeking the mayor’s office, issued a statement late Friday questioning whether crimes were being committed at the Eagle, if the raid was the most efficient use of police resources and whether patrons were treated fairly.

Also Friday, gay mayoral candidate Kyle Keyser issued a statement saying he shares “in my community’s concern” over the raid.

The Atlanta Police Department also issued a statement Friday saying officers observed “criminal behavior” inside the bar before the raid.


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