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Calls mount for investigation of police conduct in gay club raid

Joint operations between Fort Worth police and the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission have been suspended during investigations into an inspection early Sunday that resulted in the injury of a man at a new gay club near the city's hospital district.

Chief Jeff Halstead on Thursday announced a series of actions relating to the early-morning incident Sunday at the Rainbow Lounge on Jennings Street, which has drawn protests from the gay community.

Halstead also said he would conduct a review of "multicultural training" for police officers to ensure that the information is "up to date" on issues that concern the gay community.

Meanwhile, the man who was hurt, 26-year-old Chad Gibson, was still in fair condition at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where he was being treated for a head injury.

On Wednesday, TABC officials acknowledged that Gibson had been in the custody of a TABC agent who was participating in an inspection the bar.

Fort Worth police and TABC officials have said they are conducting their own internal investigations into what happened.

Two Texas legislators on Wednesday called for an outside agency to investigate.

State Rep. Lon Burnam and state Sen. Wendy Davis, both Fort Worth Democrats, said they met with commission officials Wednesday about what happened at the Rainbow Lounge.

"We had more questions than they had answers," Burnam said. "But that's understandable at this point."

In their joint statement, Davis and Burnam said they thought an independent review of witness accounts and the completed investigative reports of the Fort Worth Police Department and the commission would be the best way to find out the truth.

They have not decided the appropriate agency to conduct the review or how the process might be initiated, Burnam said.

"I'm hoping that Mayor (Mark) Moncrief and the governor will visit and talk about how best to address the need for an outside review," Burnam said.

"Both departments need enough space to complete their own investigations. But because we are already detecting discrepancies in the reports from both agencies, we think we need an independent investigation."

Read more at Star-Telegram.com

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