Discrimination in a Bar


The voices who are often the loudest in calling for equality are often also the first to cry out against any opinion, belief or action that doesn’t conform to their own opinions, beliefs or actions.

On June 28th, 2009, many people within the gay community were celebrating the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that took place in 1969. Although an important commemoration, it was based upon an event largely unheard outside of the gay community. It is unfortunate for the patrons of the Rainbow Lounge to feel like they were discriminated against by being held to legal standards early in the morning on June 28th. It is a simple fact, however, that peace officers are called upon to uphold the law uniformly in regards to all persons on every day of the year.

Nevertheless, peace officers often show discretion when dealing with people in a defined demographic. They cannot show that discretion, however, when no knowledge of obscure but sensitive dates or occasions is known. The owner of the Rainbow Lounge had an opportunity to ask officers to revisit his location (where another patron was arrested after leaving several evenings prior) on another date. He did not do so. A release states:

On Saturday morning, June 27, 2009, a person identifying himself as the owner of the Rainbow Lounge called the local police station and spoke with a supervisor to ascertain if there was a problem at the Rainbow Lounge. At approximately 3:30 p.m., a Fort Worth Police sergeant spoke with the owner of the Rainbow Lounge and explained they were conducting alcoholic beverage code inspections in the area. The owner advised the sergeant officers were welcome anytime to conduct an inspection of his establishment. The sergeant advised the owner of the Rainbow Lounge that officers would return to the area this evening to continue inspections and would inspect his establishment.
The only bias of peace officers upholding alcoholic beverage consumption laws is against those who break the law. On any given evening, local and state police may visit bars or clubs represented by any of the following demographics:
  • Caucasian
  • Ravers
  • African Americans
  • Hispanics
  • Asians
  • College Students
  • GLBT
  • Veterans
  • Yuppies
  • White Collar
  • Blue Collar
  • Indian
As that list shows, peace officers visit all bars without regard to any demographic. And when violations are found, they are acted upon.

Various media accounts have come out in recent years about stepped-up bar checks in Texas and specifically Fort Worth. These articles show that peace officers had begun to apply a higher degree of scrutiny long before arriving at the Rainbow Lounge.

Disclaimer: The information posted on this site has not been prepared or approved by any police agency, police association, or legal or law enforcement professional. It has been compiled through research of already available information and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as findings of an investigation.

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