Fort Worth city administrators are recommending that the City Council approve a settlement with Chad Gibson, one of the patrons who was injured in the Rainbow Lounge raid. The pending settlement is a result of mediation among the city, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Gibson’s attorneys.
The amount of the settlement from the city is $400,000. The amount from TABC has not been released.
The raid by Fort Worth police officers and TABC agents occurred on June 28, 2008, the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.
Gibson suffered a head injury. George Armstrong was also injured and is included in the settlement. Pending felony charges against Gibson and Armstrong were dropped toward the end of last year before the mediation began.
Three Fort Worth police officers received short suspensions, and two TABC agents were fired, as a result of the incident.
Tom Anable, a founder of Fairness Fort Worth, a group formed in the wake of the raid, said he’s pleased that the city had come to an agreement.
“I think that the willingness of the city to enter into mediation without a federal lawsuit being filed is an indication of their willingness to move forward with our community,” Anable said.
Anable said this is the first time the city has entered into mediation without the threat of a federal lawsuit and the first time a city and TABC entered into joint negotiations.
“That speaks volumes of the city and of TABC,” Anable said. “No one wants to go backward, and that’s the story.”
While Anable said he has no inside information about the negotiations, he added, “As with any mediation, it’s successful if neither side is really happy but both are satisfied.”
Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for TABC, said, “TABC has engaged in settlement discussions with [Gibson] attorney Don Tittle. At this time the parties have agreed not to comment on those discussions until any resolution is finalized.”
Adam Seidel, an attorney for Gibson and Armstrong, was not available for comment this morning.
The item is on the agenda for Tuesday’s Fort Worth City Council meeting.
Gibson, who was hospitalized after the raid, is still receiving treatment for the injuries he sustained.