Rainbow Lounge to Mark Police Raid With a Party | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Rainbow Lounge to Mark Police Raid With a Party

Police chief plans to attend barbecue at Rainbow Lounge



    A barbecue will be held on the one-year anniversary of the controversial raid.

    A Fort Worth gay bar will mark the one-year anniversary of a controversial police raid with a party -- and police Chief Jeffrey Halstead plans to attend.

    Randy Norman, general manager of The Rainbow Lounge, said Halstead and a number of his officers have accepted the invitation to attend the barbecue on June 28.

    One Year After Raid, "Life Is Good"

    [DFW] One Year After Raid, "Life Is Good"
    A Fort Worth gay bar will mark the one-year anniversary of a controversial police raid with a party.
    (Published Friday, June 18, 2010)

    "Our relationship with Chief Halstead and the Fort Worth police is fantastic,” Norman said Friday.

    One year ago, relations hit rock-bottom after several Fort Worth police officers and two agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the Rainbow Lounge and arrested five patrons on suspicion of public intoxication.

    Customers complained the officers were rude and used excessive force. One patron received a serious head injury.

    "It's been a roller coaster, but it's turned out to be really good,” Norman said of the past year.

    Two state agents were fired and several police officers were disciplined after internal investigations faulted the way the raid was conducted.

    Halstead apologized for the raid and appointed an openly lesbian officer to serve as liaison to the gay community.

    Next week’s barbecue will celebrate the progress both sides have made, Norman said.

    "It's just to show people we're working together,” he said. “We're working with them as they're working with us to be a part of the community on both sides so it betters Fort Worth."

    Norman said business has thrived at the Rainbow Lounge, partly because of all the publicity the raid attracted.

    In the next few weeks, the owner of the Rainbow Lounge plans to open a restaurant next door and a piano bar across the street, Norman said.

    “Life is good,” he said.

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