The ongoing blame game resulting from the Rainbow Lounge raid took another turn today as it would appear that Fort Worth Police Chief, Jeff Halstead, appears ready to lay all the blame at the feet of the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission.
Halstead officially suspended joint operations with the TABC pending the results of the internal investigation.
But Halstead on Thursday suspended joint operations between the two agencies “until we gain a better understanding of the events that occurred at the Rainbow Lounge,” according to a news release from Sgt. Pedro Criado, police spokesman.
We are starting to see some movement but I don't think it is going to be the movement we in the LGBT community will want or be satisfied with. Halstead is saying all the right things at the moment about “diversity training,” and establishing “clear guidelines” for future joint operations, but there is still the refusal on his part to take any responsibility for a raid that happened in his departments jurisdiction. Plus, continuing to insist on perpetrating these stereotypes such as “patrons grabbed our crotch” so that is why we acted the way we did is counterproductive and harmful. The evil gays prayed on our crotches so the excessive force the officers used was really an exercise in “restraint.” Pathetic and disgusting on the part of a chief of police.
I am really upset that Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief continues to remain silent, as do a few other city councilmembers, on this whole terrible incident. Their silence speaks volumes. No amount of diversity training will be enough to break there apparent dislike of the LGBT community. It also tells me that when this investigation is over we're likely to see little or no change, and probably the same “grabbed my crotch so we took action” outcome is to be expected.
Going a bit farther though I will say an extraordinary amount of responsibility now rests on the LGBT community too. For meaningful change to be enacted we must continue to stand up and hold our elected officials accountable. That doesn't mean stand up and act a fool. That doesn't mean get radical with it as that will only serve to be counter-productive. Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi enacted the change they wished to see by peaceful demonstrations and accountability of elected officials. We can do the same thing and achieve many of our goals toward equality and protection under the law.