police raid the eagle, the eagle nyc, the eagle new york raid, gay marriage new york bar raid

NYC Police Celebrate Gay Marriage Victory By Raiding Gay Bar

police raid the eagle, the eagle nyc, the eagle new york raid, gay marriage new york bar raid
Trubs at The Eagle.

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.

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.

“I am going to ask the police commissioner to conduct a formal investigation concerning the circumstances around this raid,” he added.

The inspection occurred late at night, Mr. Stringer said, and while it was “true that there are these multiagency inspections, I think this one was ill-conceived and ill-timed given the circumstances surrounding the marriage equality celebration, on Pride week.”

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.

All of this news is troubling for sure, but let’s be real for a minute here. The Eagle was reportedly on a list of approximately 1000 bars in the city that are frequent causes of complaints to the city’s 311 and 911 lines. And on the night in question, The Eagle received six different violations. The security at the establishment was unlicensed, there was no public assembly permit, the noise level was in violation of the Department of Environmental Protections of all things, and there was drinking going on outside of the area permitted by the liquor authority.

Yes, the police timing was either obnoxiously planned or moronically never double-checked – We’re talking about maybe the single most historical piece of gay rights legislation in the country passing and not a single officer thinking to hold off a day on the raid? – but The Eagle really has no grounds to complain here. The bar was operating illegally. End of story.

In order to properly stand up for ourselves as a community, it’s important that we make sure we are keeping our noses clean in the first place. This story carries enough buzz to become national news today because of the possibly prescient timing involved, but The Eagle did the LGBT community absolutely no favors by inviting this nonsense into their bar, our community, and the news with all of their violations in the first place.

Do better.

(via NYT)

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  • And now, for my 2 cents.

    First, kudos to UB for noticing that this wasn’t — or, at least, on the surface wasn’t — a call to arms.  The Eagle, according to the article, was operating outside of the law — although I’m not so sure I agree with the “public assembly” issue.  Since when do bars need special permits to have drunken revelry, even when it’s in response to a major piece of legislation?

    Second, why is NY’s legalization of gay marriage “maybe the single most historical piece of gay rights legislation in the country passing”?  Have I slipped into an alternate universe where NY was the first state to legalize gay marriage?  I agree that it’s huge; I agree that it’s important; I would’ve agreed without reservation if you’d said “a major milestone for gay rights” or if you’d said for the state and not the country.

    Overall, though, I agree with the article.  The Eagle, apparently, brought this on themselves.  The timing was unfortunate, but it doesn’t seem at first pass that this was malicious.  They can’t all be Stonewall.

  • Great story, I have nothing to add other than that I appreciate your professional approach to the incident and that you looked at both sides of the story and reported both of them.

  • ShowMeGuy

    You mean to tell me that out of all the multiple THOUSANDS of bars in NYC and the rest of the state, that a flood of gov’ment inspectors showed up at the Eagle….a major gay bar…..on the first night of equality for the gay community in New York?  I’m not buying it.

  • What makes me think most about this story is that, the entire set up is a lot like the Stonewall Rebellion……………………Police raiding a gay bar, on a hugely emotional charged night………….note that the Stonewall Inn probably had a lot more violations that day than Eagle.    It seems there is a lot of bad timing………………….But how could the police have known about the legislation passing at the time of the raid…….not likely they were even paying attention to that, which is what bugs me most about the whole thing. Weird parallels though.

  • yep, they should do better.  but they should have done more by consulting a calendar.  this is a few days from the anniversary of the stonewall riots.  so, it seems that there is enough blame for everyone. 

  • Mitch Lustig

    from what i’ve heard that bar gets raided all the time, there is a reason the security is so tight there. any-who its not like the police shoved plungers up anyones asses, and nobody got arrested. 

    If the police really wanted to be assholes they would have started a riot at stonewall…