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Texas Gay Bar Raided on 40th Anniversary of Stonewall Riots

This past weekend marked the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which broke out after police raided the Stonewall Inn, a New York City gay bar. On the anniversary, seven patrons were arrested at a Fort Worth, Texas gay bar after police allegedly used excessive force during an alcoholic beverage code inspection. The Human Rights Campaign has called for an investigation into alleged police misconduct.

One patron was severely injured in the incident and is currently being treated in intensive care for head trauma and internal bleeding. In a statement from the Fort Worth police department, the Police Chief indicated that all allegations of misconduct will be investigated.

Fort Worth Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks said in a statement, “It is truly ironic and unfortunate that this incident occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests. Unlike 40 years ago, though, the people of this community have elective representation that will make sure our government is accountable and that the rights of all of its citizens are protected.”

On Monday, President Obama honored the anniversary of Stonewall at an LGBT pride month reception at the White House. In the 1960s, raids on gay bars were common, but the riots resulting from the raid of the Stonewall Inn are considered to have sparked the modern gay rights movement. Thirteen were arrested on the night of the raid and protests continued for an additional three nights.

Sources:

Statement of Kathleen Hicks 6/29/09; Human Rights Campaign Press Release 6/29/09; Dallas Morning News 6/29/09; White House Press Blog 6/30/09; Center for American Progress

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