“RAID Of THE RAINBOW LOUNGE”

 
 

The Rainbow Lounge raid occurred in the early morning hours of June 28, 2009, at the Rainbow Lounge, a newly opened gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas. The raid was carried out by members of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and the Fort Worth Police Department. Several customers were arrested for public intoxication and one customer, Chad Gibson, received a severe head and brain injury while in custody. The police also claimed the customers made sexual advances and contact with them. Other customers were detained and later released without arrest.

In response to this incident, several of the witnesses in the bar that evening, including Todd Camp, the artistic director of the local gay and lesbian film festival, began a grassroots awareness campaign with the launch of the informational Facebook page "Rainbow Lounge Raid." Over the next several weeks, the page's membership grew to nearly 15,000. Several local organizers planned a protest on the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse the next afternoon. The Dallas-based LGBT rights group Queer Liberaction organized a candlelight vigil for the victim, a Milk Box event, and a later more formal protest.

It has been of particular interest to the media that the raid took place on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, a notable raid of a gay bar which prompted the modern gay rights movement.

Atlanta’s ties to the Rainbow Lounge resulted in 24 Atlanta police officers were found to have falsely imprisoned patrons during the raid on the Atlanta Eagle in September 2009; 10 officers were found to have lied about their actions; and 10 officers destroyed evidence in a federal lawsuit by deleting data from their mobile phones. Eagle patrons were forced to lay face-down on the bar’s floor in part because of the anti-gay prejudices of the raid commander, and some police officers made anti-gay comments during the raid.






 
Out on Film showing Raid on the Rainbow Lounge

“Raid of the Rainbow Lounge”

 

Out on Film showing Raid on the Rainbow Lounge

Atlanta has close ties to what happened at the Rainbow Lounge when Atlanta police officers broke the law 3 months later during the raid of the Atlanta Eagle gay bar in September 2009 by unlawfully searching and seizing patrons who were not suspected of any crime. 


DOCUMENTARY

Q&A

Out on Film showing Raid on the Rainbow Lounge
Out on Film showing Raid on the Rainbow Lounge
Out on Film showing Raid on the Rainbow Lounge

        Copyright Out on Film 2013   Information: 456 Kensington Parc Drive, Avondale Estates GA 30002, 404-296-3807  info@outonfilm.org

Sunday, October 7, 2012   *   12:35 pm  *   103 minutes   *   Director: Robert L. Camina