Ft. Worth City Council meeting

A Fort Worth city marshal removes a woman identified by Elizabeth Pax on Facebook as Nicki Kersieck is removed from the Fort Worth City Council chamber during Tuesday's night's council meeting.
A Fort Worth city marshal removes a woman identified by Elizabeth Pax on Facebook as Nicki Kerksieck is removed from the Fort Worth City Council chamber during Tuesday’s night’s council meeting.

I was at the Fort Worth City Council meeting last night. Stayed there until almost 1 a.m. when the discussion over the Rainbow Lounge raid was complete.

There have already been some updates here, thanks to John Wright, about what happened, and I am not going to just repeat that info. Instead I am going to concentrate on getting a full story written for the paper this week.

I do want to repeat, however, that Fort Worth Police Chief Jeffrey Halstead did announce yesterday that he has appointed Officer Sara Straten, a 17-year veteran of the police force, as liaison to the city’s LGBT community. And he did tell me last night that he would arrange for Dallas Voice to interview Officer Straten as soon as possible, probably by the end of the week.

Chief Halstead has also promised to sit down for an interview with Dallas Voice himself, although I believe that probably won’t happen until the investigation into the Rainbow Lounge raid is complete.

Also, the second person removed from the Council chambers for disrupting the meeting last night — in addition to Blake Wilkinson of Queer Liberaction — was identified by Elizabeth Pax in a Facebook post as Nicki Kersieck. Elizabeth was not at the meeting but was receiving constant updates — via text, I think — from people who were there.

And it was noted by city officials that TABC’s investigation is likely to be complete before the Fort Worth PD’s investigation, and that officials do not want to rush the PD investigation. They think it is more important that the investigation be thorough and accurate rather than fast. (I can’t remember exactly who said this; it’s in my notes and I’ll have all that in the story.)

—  admin

Fairness Fort Worth at the City Council

Fairness Fort Worth is also encouraging people to attend the Ft. Worth City Council meeting on Tuesday night, July 14.

Here is info from their statement:

“Several hundred citizens are expected to attend the council meeting.

“Fairness Fort Worth contacted the city manager’s office to ensure citizen concerns about the event would be heard at tomorrows council meeting. Spokesman Jon Nelson is scheduled to address the Council following more than seventy other agenda items. The mayor may move an item up on the agenda although doing so is rare in practice. In an effort to mitigate an already long agenda, Fairness Fort Worth has identified three individuals who will speak for the organization rather than having several hundred individuals each speak. A “Facebook” page was created immediately after the raid to allow members the ability to discuss the issue, share stories and provide photographs of what they saw. The page, “Rainbow Lounge Raid” now has more than 12,000 members.

“We are interested in talking with city leaders about FWPD and TABC actions, the investigation process and how we can proactively work together in the future to avoid any repeat of the unfortunate incident,” Nelson stated. “It is important for our community and for our city to begin this dialog now. Staying up a little later than normal is a small price for starting the healing process.”

—  admin