1969? Fort Worth police raid gay nightclub, sparking protest

FORT WORTH — A crowd of more than 100 protesters chanted "No more!" from the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse Sunday evening as they demanded an investigation into a police raid earlier in the day at a gay night club.

One patron was seriously injured in the raid, several protesters said, as police used excessive force in making seven arrests. Police defended their actions.

Speaker after speaker demanded an inquiry into the late-night raid at the Rainbow Lounge on South Jennings Street.

"I was scared," patron Todd Camp said at the protest Sunday afternoon. "I have never seen anything like this in my life."

The rally lasted about 20 minutes. Some protesters then marched on Main Street, holding signs and waving flags.

The raid happened on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York which began on the night of June 28, 1969, as a protest by gays against police harassment and helped trigger the modern U.S. gay rights movement.

Fort Worth police released a statement saying that the Rainbow Lounge was not the only bar targeted by six Fort Worth police officers and two agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and a supervisor. The group first went to the Rosedale Saloon and Cowboy Palace on Rosedale Street. Nine people were arrested, police report.

The investigators then went to the Rainbow Lounge, where seven arrests were made, the police statement said. While walking through the Rainbow Lounge, an "extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor," the statement said. This individual was arrested for public intoxication.

Police said the raid was part of a routine inspection for alcohol beverage code violations and that they are investigating allegations of rough treatment.

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