Saturday, June 25, 2011

NYPD Raids the Eagle Bar on Evening When Marriage Equality Was Signed into Law

Was the sudden NYPD "inspection" at at a gay bar an intentional "raid" meant to ruin the victorious celebration of marriage equality ?

"An unannounced inspection that several agencies carried out at a gay bar in Manhattan on Friday night occurred at nearly the same time that patrons were celebrating the passage of legislation in Albany legalizing same-sex marriage," reported The New York Times.

Why can Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer question the actions of NYPD, but not openly lesbian City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ?

"Police officials said on Saturday that the inspection was part of a routine operation planned long ago. But Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, said that he was troubled by descriptions of what took place at the Eagle bar, on West 28th Street off 11th Avenue, and that the actions amounted to a raid," the Times report added.

"According to those present, about 100 people were mingling at the Eagle, when representatives from the New York Police Department and three other city agencies, as well as from the State Liquor Authority, showed up, at nearly the same time as a vote by the State Senate to legalize same-sex marriage and as the thrill of victory was swirling through the place."

... Daniel P. Dromm, a city councilman from Queens who is gay, expressed concern on Saturday over reports over the years of officers entering bars on the Friday night before Gay Pride weekend.

“There needs to be some sensitivity to the importance of gay marriage being legalized in New York State, which means this vote for marriage is going to have national reverberations,” he said. “Not a good time for cops to be going into a gay bar for no urgent reason.”

... Some reacted angrily. Allen Roskoff, 61, a veteran gay-rights activist who was not at the Eagle, said, “In typical New York City Police Department fashion, the N.Y.P.D. demonstrated its disrespect for the gay community by raiding the Eagle mere moments after the passage of most important piece of gay rights legislation in history.” ...

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