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
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
"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
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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