Last edited: March 26, 2005

Cops Unapologetic Over Gay Raid, January 11, 2003

By Rich Peters, Western Canada Bureau Chief

CALGARY, ALBERTA—Calgary police are talking tough following community outrage over a raid on the city’s only bathhouse that resulted in the arrest of 15 men.

A spokesperson for the department rejected a demand that the police apologize for the raid.

Robert Palmer said "there will be no apology. Never."

"We will not apologize for treating all citizens of this community equal under the law," Palmer said. "We didn’t do anything wrong."

Police swept into Goliath’s baths December 12 arresting patrons and staff on sex charges.

Stephen Lock, a gay community activist who sits on the gay and lesbian communities police liaison committee, said anything less than an apology or acknowledgment of "police error" is unacceptable.

He called the Palmer’s response to the community’s request for an apology "arrogant."

"It doesn’t surprise me that [the police] won’t apologize," Lock said. "They don’t want to lose face."

Members of the gay community are planning to rally outside the provincial courthouse Jan. 23 when the men charged in the raid are scheduled to appear. It is believed all 15 will plead not guilty.

Petitions are circulating in the city’s gay establishments calling for the charges to be dropped and community leaders are collecting donations for a defense fund.

Charges laid in similar raids in Toronto in 1981 were thrown out.

Locke said that the Calgary raid has damaged the relationship between the police service and the community with some people refusing to call police if they need help.

"We hope that the community does not feel that, because of one event, we should dismantle a relationship that has been so strong and successful for so many years," Palmer said.

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