So many conflicting stories are floating around about what happened at the Rainbow Lounge. A lot of attention has been placed on the injury to Chad Gibson. Some say that it constitutes police brutality. While it very well may does, police had gone too far before well before Chad was injured.
Josh Taylor and his friend Dylan had been at the bar that evening for about an hour. Josh was on his third drink when the raid began. Officers entered the VIP lounge and arrested Dylan first. Josh stopped one of the officers and asked why they were arresting his friend. The officer pointed at Josh and said, “P.I.” Josh was then taken into custody.
Did you know Police and TABC officers can arrest on suspicion of public intoxication? Not only were sobriety tests not performed, but they are not required for the arrest. This is more than a “gay issue,” this is a human rights issue.
Further, I asked Josh directly whether he, or anyone else to his knowledge, groped or otherwise made sexual gestures at police. As suspected, Josh answered that he saw no one perform anything as such.
That seems consistent with other reports from witnesses. Seems no one at Rainbow Lounge that night, except for the TABC officers and Ft. Worth Police Department, saw any such gesturing or groping. But why then would the police claim they were groped?
The Gay Panic Defense. Perhaps the most ridiculous, yet successful, defense for beating or murdering gays yet. The defense was first used by Jonathan Schmitz for killing Scott Amedure after Scott declared his love for Jonathan on The Jenny Jones Show.
The murders of Matthew Shepard initially claimed this as their defense. However, in Wyoming, the Judge ruled such a defense constitutes either “a temporary insanity defense or a diminished capacity defense,” both of which are bared under Wyoming Law. Not the case in Texas where a good ole boy can claim “self defense” for a killing a gay man for coming onto him and a jury would acquit the guy.
However, in this instance a nation of voices has said “ENOUGH” to Texas. Calls and letters and questions came in from around the nation. The result? The Ft. Worth Mayor has requested that the Federal Government monitor the investigation into the allegations against the Ft. Worth Police Department and the Police Chief, Jeff Halstead, has suspended bar raids in collaboration with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (“TABC”).
In spite of this progress, there is more work to be done. While the TABC has indicated they are investigating the allegations and that they have placed the agents involved on the day shift (desk duty) they have not yet requested any oversight by the federal government. Thus, there is still reason for us to stand together as a nation. Help this Texan out. Please contact Senators and Representatives in Texas, the TABC and Texas U.S. Representatives and Senators. Demand federal oversight of the TABC investigation, demand state policy changes, protect human rights. Together, we can build a safer Texas for ALL people.