Witnesses: Cops didn’t mistreat Blake’s patrons
Several witnesses to a fight at Blake’s, including an employee, say two patrons at the popular Midtown gay bar were the problem, not Atlanta police who responded to assist an off-duty officer.
The conflicting accounts of the incident came after Project Q Atlanta first reported the fight, which took place about 1:15 a.m. on Saturday. The story included allegations from a witness who said Atlanta police officers responding to a call for help from the off duty officer called some bar patrons “sweetie” and “princess.” He also said one officer ordered him to delete his video recordings of the incident. Atlanta police are not supposed to interfere with people who videotape officers in public.
Two people were arrested after police responded to a fight call at the 10th Street bar. Atlanta police said the two men fought with an off duty officer providing security inside the bar. When the officer asked the two to leave, the men refused and one of them threw his drink in the officer’s face and then punched him, police say.
A report detailing the incident was not yet available from the Atlanta Police Department on Monday. But in a brief statement released on Saturday, Atlanta police asked that anyone with allegations of police wrongdoing to file a formal complaint with the department’s internal affairs unit.
Over the weekend, several patrons who say they witnessed the incident posted comments to the story and Project Q’s Facebook page saying that Atlanta police acted appropriately and did not direct derogatory terms at people inside the bar.
Lynn Barfield, a popular figure in Atlanta’s gay nightlife scene, provided a detailed account of the incident. Barfield works at Blake’s and witnessed the incident on Saturday.
I work security at Blake’s on the Park and WAS there that night. Let me set the record straight on this- APD DID NOT come inside the building!!! The two men that were apprehended were already outside when the cops arrived. As for the number of cops that came to the site, when a cop is being assaulted, as was the officer that was there working for our bar, there is a code that is sent to alert other cops that he is in trouble. THAT’S IT.
Nor did any APD officers talk to ANY of the patrons. They spoke to the officer and the STAFF members that were involved. Patrons were afraid to even leave the bar and go out in the parking lot, hence some of them had been drinking. THAT was the only fear that people had that night.
AND NO officers taunted, talked to, or called any patrons names of any sorts. They did their job, IN THE PARKING LOT, and business resumed. This community has enough to worry about besides people telling ABSOLUTE lies about a serious situation in which our staff got hurt. And riling up our community of any more police brutality is outrageous. They walk a fine line and they walk it well with us.
A customer at the bar, Parris Bethea, says in a Facebook post that officers were more concerned with making the situation safe than insulting other bar patrons.
I was in the middle of it once I got to Blakes and some of the officers asked me what happen and I know they didn’t call anyone “sweetie or princess” , while me and the manager were talking to some of the officers. They were more concerned with making sure the officer was safe and the people fighting were detained to make comments that were never made.
Casey Drummond says when he arrived, the fight between two patrons was already in full swing and he attempted to help the off duty officer detain the two men who were later arrested.
Shortly after, the police cars arrived. I stayed upstairs to watch, and get a drink. I did not witness any officers “rush into the bar” where the fight occurred. Actually, it was pretty calm after the two patrons were removed from the upstairs bar and into the parking lot, which is where they were arrested.
Duchess says the incident started when the two men tried to move to the front of a line to the restroom.
There was no police abuse. Two individuals jumped the restroom line and were asked twice to move to the rear and became abusive. It was then that the police officer was asked to remove them from the bar and they punched him out. He’s a 65 year old grandfather who helps gay men and women out with their legal issues all the time. Thank you, so much, for this errorneous reporting. These false accusations all came from some methed out twink. Have a nice day.
David Fought says he was upstairs in the bar when the fight broke out.
I dunno what happened out in the parking lot, but I was there upstairs when the fight broke out. The people that were asked to leave were not going willingly. They assaulted the off-duty cop and some of the staff. They were throwing punches, kicking, and scrapping with the officers and the staff.
The Off-Duty cops that work there regularly—its always the same core of 4 or 5 officers. They treat the patrons with nothing but respect. However, if you get out of line and act a fool—you might be forcibly removed.
Luckyace7117 says none of it happened. Well, none of the allegations of police misbehavior, anyway.
None of that happened. I was there last night. Yes there was a fight. yes the police came. The patrons actually punched the officer and one of the bartenders. They were thrown out and the police kept them outside. Didn’t see anyone misbehaving other than the people fighting.
The incident is scheduled to be discussed on Monday during the monthly meeting of the LGBT advisory board for Atlanta police. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in City Council Committee Meeting Room 2 at City Hall.
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