Victim of raid at Fort Worth gay bar still in ICU while police chief defends officer conduct

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Chad GibsonChad Gibson remains in intensive care after head injuries received during the raid of the Rainbow Lounge, a gay night club in Fort Worth Texas. Local officials have called for an investigation into the raid which occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead defended his officers and their conduct during the raid. “You’re touched and advanced in certain ways by people inside the bar, that’s offensive,” he said. “I’m happy with the restraint used when they were contacted like that.”

Dan Savage in his column at equates the police cheif’s statement with the “Gay Panic Defense.”

Allow me to translate the chief’s comments: “Them faggots in that thar bar touched mah officers and now they’re complainin’ about some rough stuff and one little ol’ faggot with a brain injury? Those perverts should be grateful they’realive.”

This is a classic example of the Gay Panic Defense. In the very recent past all a straight man who brutally murdered a gay man had to say was, “He made a pass at me!”, and the jury would ignore the evidence and let the murderer off. The Gay Panic Defense doesn’t fly in many courts of law these days but it still has currency in the court of public opinion. And the chief of police in Forth Worth, a major U.S. city, is attempting to use the Gay Panic Defense to convince the citizens of Fort Worth to ignore the evidence—to ignore photographic evidence and credible eyewitness accounts—and let his officers off.

And you’ll never guess who the police are accusing of being the groper: Chad Gibson, the one man arrested at the Rainbow Lounge who can’t defend himself and may never be able to give his side of the story.

A candle light vigil is planned tonight in honor of Chad Gibson at the Rainbow lounge at 8:30pm.  To show your support join the Rainbow Lounge Riot Facebook group.

Post by ILO on 07/01/09 at 10:30 am