In what the New York Police Department is calling an “inspection” but what patron’s, are calling a “raid” happened this past Friday night, the same night that same-sex marriage became legal in New York and on the weekend of NYC’s 41st Gay Pride weekend commemorating the raid of another gay bar, The Stonewall Inn.
Allen Roskoff, 61, a veteran gay-rights activist who was not at the Eagle, said, “In typical New York City Police Department fashion, the N.Y.P.D. demonstrated its disrespect for the gay community by raiding the Eagle mere moments after the passage of most important piece of gay rights legislation in history.”
But some accounts of the inspection diverged significantly, in places, from what the police described. For instance, (Eagle owner Robert Berk) said the inspection lasted about two hours, while (Police Department’s chief spokesman David Browne) said it was completed in about 45 minutes.
Along with flashlights being shined in people’s faces, lights were turned off and patrons were forced to empty their pockets “without probable cause,” Mr. Shevlin said
For those of you who aren’t in the know.
In 1972 a longshoreman’s bar called The Eagle Open Kitchen was purchased by Jack Modica, who transformed the pub into a Levi Leather men’s bar known as the Eagle’s Nest, and quickly became one of the hottest, and in those day “sleaziest” (but in a good way) leather bars in NYC.
The original Eagles nest closed on March 3-5, 2000 (RIP). Employees still wanted to continue the Eagle’s Nest legacy so they opened the “new” Eagle Bar October 5th 2001 in a different location. Times were different, gone was the backroom and much of the “sleaze” Which makes this “raid” on this particular weekend even more frustrating. And I say RAID because an inspection DOES NOT make patron’s empty out their pockets unless of course it was an inspection in Nazi Germany in 1940.
A reader of the blog called Kenneth in 212 recalls what happened. Yes, I was there and they definitely raided it. I argued with the police there for an hour over the outrage and eventually left. I am going to try to organize a response, like I did after the raids 3 years ago after Pride.”