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Atlanta Cop Fired For Slurs Against Gays

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Atlanta Cop Fired For Slurs Against Gays

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: September 15, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Atlanta, Georgia) An Atlanta police office has been fired following an investigation into allegations of verbal abuse by five gay men he had arrested in a park in a gay neighborhood.

The five had been charged with being in Piedmont Park after hours. The men had been going from one gay bar to another and had cut through the park. (story)

During their arrest, the officer made disparaging remarks and when asked refused to give his name or badge number.

Two of the men filed complaints. Shortly after their arrests Ray Gallimore and Trent Aldridge said that the officers handcuffed the five for being in the park past the 11 p.m. closing.

“We continually asked if we were being arrested and they would not answer us. They told us that we had no rights, it was none of our business,” Gallimore told WXIA television.

The men said that when they tried to explain that signs showing park hours were impossible to see the one of the officers "called us cockroach faggots and...they were here to clean us out of the bushes so children won’t have to see us in the morning.”

The five were were jailed. Four pleaded guilty, and all five were sentenced to community service.

The internal affairs investigation pointed to Officer Larry Smith.

In announcing his firing, Maj. L.A. Hagin said that Smith had been on the force for a year. Hagin said police officers have now been given specific instruction on how to treat gay men and lesbians

The action by the police department in firing Smith won praise from Georgia Equality.

"Hopefully, this will set an example for other members of the force that there's zero tolerance against any kind of bigotry or discrimination. This is a very clear-cut case of discrimination." the group's executive director Chuck Bowen told the Atlanta Constitution.

©365Gay.com 2005

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All they would have to do is treat us just like they would anyone else. I don't see where special treatment is needed.

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