Mother Jones on the Rainbow Lounge raid

Posted on 25 Feb 2010 at 9:28am

Mother Jones magazine has weighed in on the Rainbow Lounge raid, and it ain’t pretty. In a piece posted on the magazine’s Web site this morning, MJ‘s Adam Weinstein (a former Dallas resident) takes a look at how law enforcement officers in Texas allegedly use the state’s public intoxication statute, which Weinstein calls the broadest in the nation, to harass gays and other minorities. Here’s a snippet from Weinstein’s blog post promoting the piece, “Lone Bar State”:

The Lone Star State, it turns out, is still a place where “undesirables” can be rounded up, humiliated by authorities, tossed in jail cells, and even have their skulls cracked—legally. It’s made possible by a catch-22 in the state’s penal code: a public-intoxication law that permits peace officers to go virtually anywhere, anytime, and arrest anyone they want. Except who they really want to arrest, it seems, includes mostly gays, Latinos, and blacks. As one cop told me, “We go after the disenfranchised, the people who can’t stand up and defend themselves.” Another lawyer who represents folks arrested for PI put it even more bluntly: ”If you’re brown and you’re around,” he says, “you’re going down.”

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