Tag Archives: bar raid

Gay History – March 8, 1970: The Forgotten NYC Snake Pit Bar Raid. 167 Arrested, 1 Critically Wounded

March 8, 1970:

Many people don’t realize it but the raids on gay bars by the New York City Police Department didn’t end with the Stonewall riots in the summer of 1969. In fact the raids continued, virtually uninterrupted with some continuing on into the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.

On March 8th. 1970 at about 5:00 am in the morning the NYPD raided the Snake Pit, an after-hours bar at 211 West 10th. Street in Greenwich Village. Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine (the same Seymour Pine in charge of the raids upon the Stonewall Inn) showed up with a fleet of police wagons, and arrested all 167 customers, staff, and owners and took them to the station house, which violated police policy.

One patron, Diego Vinales, panicked. An immigrant from Argentina who was in the country illegally, he feared what would happen to him in the police station and tried to escape by jumping out a second story window. He landed on a fence below, its 14-inch spikes piercing his leg and pelvis. He was not only critically wounded, but was also charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. As paramedics attended to Vinales, a cop told a fireman, “You don’t have to hurry, he’s dead, and if he’s not, he’s not going to live long,”

“You don’t have to hurry, he’s dead, and if he’s not, he’s not going to live long.”

Viñales was eventually cut loose and taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital. he survived after spending weeks in the hospital and when released moved back to Argentina.

The Gay Activist Alliance immediately organized a protest for later that night. A pamphlet publicizing the protest read, “Any way you look at it, Diego Vinales was pushed. We are all being pushed. A march on the Sixth Precinct will take place tonight, March 8, at 9 pm, gathering at Sheridan Square. Anyone who calls himself a human being, who has the guts to stand up to this horror, join us.” 

A silent vigil will occur immediately following the demonstration.” Nearly 500 people showed up for an angry and loud but peaceful protest protest to the precinct station on Charles Street, followed by a vigil at St. Vincent’s hospital where Vinales lay in critical condition.

Rep. Edward Koch, who would later become the Mayor of NYC accused NYPD Commissioner Howard Leary of green-lighting the resumption of raids, harassment, and illegal arrests against the gay community. Both Leary and Seymour Pine was reassigned to the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

The gay community, which had already witnessed a burst of organizing activity since the Stonewall uprising nine months earlier, became even more politically and socially active, setting the stage for the first Christopher Street Pride March 3 months later on the first anniversary of Stonewall Riots.

#LearnYourHistory  #NeverForget   

*WARNING:  Graphic image below.

23-year-old Argentinian immigrant, Diego Viñales, apparently got scared and jumped out the precinct window and was impaled on an iron fence.

Palm Springs Leather Bar Raided By Police During Leather Pride Weekend

Last night right at the end of Leather Pride Weekend in Palm Springs, CA,  the Cathedral City Police raided and closed the popular leather bar The Barracks citing “capacity” issues. 

via Leatherati:

Breaking news…we just received a text indicating the Barracks Bar in Cathedral City, CA was shut down this afternoon by the local police department for “capacity” issues. The closure came during one of the busiest Sunday beer busts of the year with the town crowded with attendees to Palm Springs Leather Pride. The Barracks has had ongoing difficulties with the Cathedral City police department over capacity issues and displaying porn in the bar.
 
Porn in leather bars.  Geez what are they thinking that its the 70′ s and 80’s when people had freedom?
 

6 Atlanta Police Fired Over Eagle Bar Raid in 2009 – DOJ Cites Raid As Evidence Of Sexual Orientation Discrimination

It’s taken a little over two years but six Atlanta police officers have been fired — and others face disciplinary action — after an investigation found they lied about what happened during a raid on an Atlanta gay bar the The Atlanta Eagle  almost two years ago.  The raid which involved ten police cars and fifteen officers.  included forcing the patrons lie on the floor during the raid and endure insults from the Police Department.  the police arrested eight employees for providing adult entertainment. All charges were either later dropped or dismissed.

After an an investigation into the incident, a report last month stated that at least 10 officers lied and many deleted data from cell phones to hide their actions during the September 2009 raid.

Six officers were dismissed Friday “for violating the department’s truthfulness policy,” police spokesman Carlos Campos said in a statement. Two other officers accused of lying had already been dismissed as a result of an unrelated internal investigation, Campos said, and Chief George Turner ordered that the charges against two others be withdrawn because there wasn’t enough evidence they lied.

On July 1, the Department of Justice cited the Atlanta Police Department’s raid on the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar, as evidence of ongoing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Atlanta Citizen Review Board Rule Police Broke The Law In Raid Of Atlanta Gay Bar The Eagle On The 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The Atlanta Citizen Review Board has ruled that police broke the law and violated civil rights when it raided the Atlanta Eagle gay bar alittle over a year ago on the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The Citizen Review Board considered two different issues for each of the 24 Atlanta police officers who were part of the raid on the Atlanta Eagle. The first involved charges of false imprisonment. The board found officers had no legal right to search, detain, and run criminal database checks on the 60+ patrons, because none were suspected of any crime. The second issue, abusive language, wasn’t so easy. Although both CRB investigators and the board agreed officers likely used abusive and homophobic language, they couldn’t identify responsible officers. The board, unwillingly, agreed not to sustain those charges. Because the maximum penalty is a three-day suspension, the board tabled disciplinary action. Members want tougher sanctions.”  – WABE