Fort Worth Presents Settlement To Man Injured In Gay Bar Raid

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth is settling a lawsuit with the man injured in a 2009 raid on a gay bar.

Fort Worth police and Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) agents raided the Rainbow Lounge bar and in the process injured, then 26-year-old, Chad Gibson.

Gibson was hospitalized with bleeding around the brain. Witnesses said several officers threw him to the ground during the bar inspection.

The City of Fort Worth has agreed to pay Gibson $400,000 for injuries he received in the liquor raid.

Jon Gibson, with the group Fairness Fort Worth, says the settlement is ends a very unfortunate incident. But some question, is the payout an apology from the city? “Whether it is a backhanded apology or not I think it’s besides the point,” Gibson said matter-of-factly. “This is closure that’s what this is. Is there a necessity for a final apology? No.”

Gibson says the settlement also avoids a jury trial. “Ultimately this would have gone to a jury and you don’t know what 12 people are going to do, plus the publicity for this city would have been devastating.”

The lawsuit settlement still requires approval from the city council, which they are expected to give next Tuesday.

KRLD’s Chuck Schechner Reports

The city also reached a settlement with another man at the Rainbow Lounge that night.  A city spokesman says George Armstrong will receive $40,000.

Jon Nelson, with the group “Fairness Fort Worth”, commented, ‘I think it’s a wise move on the part of the city. I think it’s sort of closure to the entire event and I think it’s a good thing for both sides.”

So far, the TABC has not settled with Gibson. When asked about the possibility of a settlement TABC official Carolyn Beck said, And at this time all parties have agreed no to comment on those discussions, until we have final resolution.”

A statement from the City of Fort Worth said, “Both parties have agreed to a settlement, which will be presented to the City Council on Tuesday. In light of the circumstances, city staff believes proceeding with this settlement is the right thing to do, not only to bring closure to those involved, but also to prevent lengthy and even more costly litigation.”

CBS 11 News contacted Gibson’s attorney. He and his client are declining comment until after the city council vote.

Five people were arrested and at least a dozen more restrained during the June 2009 raid. To this day, owners of the Rainbow Lounge say their bar was unjustly targeted because it caters to gays and lesbians.

“It’s still really emotional, even after almost two years. I saw friends and patrons treated as they were substandard,” recalled Rainbow Lounge Operations Director Randy Norman. “The physical part was just so amazing to me. I can still see that night and feel what happened.”

Ultimately three TABC agents were fired for their involvement in the raid and three Fort Worth police officers received short suspensions.


One Comment

  1. Marsha Bossert says:

    I am a very straight 63 year old female, married or over 25 years to the same great man. Why is it necessary to berate gays, to demean them and try to make them less than human? My favorite uncle is gay, years ago he asked me if that bothered me, my reply was that if I do not want to sleep with you then it is none of my business who you sleep with, and I have never had any yearning to sleep with my uncle. I have a step sister who is gay, these 2 people were raised in totally different styles, my step sister is from the big city Phoenix, Az and my uncle grew up on a farm in Ohio. Do these people choose this life style? I would think not, just to avoid the hate and disrespect would make most people act straight even if they had gay leanings. Let’s try to follow God’s example, be good to everyone, their sex life is absolutely none of your business.

    1. says:

      You are absolutely correct, but boy did you open a can of worms when you brought God into it. Good luck.

  2. says:

    I’m glad they settled. I sincerely hope the settlement was enough to pay his doctor bills and debts and leave him enough to survive the media storm. If I were in his shoes, I would have required a much larger amount in case any future medical issues.
    I don’t feel that $400K was enough to set a precedence to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

  3. Robert Williamson says:

    I think the settlement was to small, it should have been no less than a million dollars because this man will be traumatized for the rest of his life and does show that these people involved in the “raid” actually think they have an open season on anybody. Most police departments have elements of gung ho people that do think they are GOD. I also think that the bar should sue the police department for harrassment and depraved incursion causing decreased business income.

  4. alwayslistening says:

    He shouldn’t get a dime.

  5. Urkiddinright says:

    That’s a load of bull! The bar wasn’t targeted it was one of several bars inspected that weekend. The owner had been contacted and told that there was an inspection coming, due to being a new bar. The police arrested several people for PI and one for grabbing an officer’s groin. When the heck is it acceptable to grab any stranger in that manner? Work? Company picnic? Church? I think not. This is not a gay thing this was a loud drunk thing. If you resist arrest, there are usually immediate and swift consequences.

    All you simpletons saying oh he shoulda got a million dollars, do you know where that money comes from? Your back pockets! Assuming that is you are a hard working fort worth taxpayer. Tell these idiots we won’t tolerate ignorant behavior stop fighting with the police and you won’t get hurt!!!

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