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Atlanta barb (Atlanta, Ga.) 1973-????, July 01, 1974, Image 1

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VOL. 1 NO. 6 "THE VOICE OF THE HOMOPHILE COMMUNITY” 25 CENTS P.O.BOX 82543 ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30354 PHONE 363-4789 Inman Orders Investigation On Harassment Of Gays WINNER OF "NAME THE BARB" CONTEST TO BE BE ANNOUNCED IN AUGUST ISSUE Atlanta Police Chief John Inman, has ordered Major Nickerson of the Atlanta Police Depart ment (APD) Vice Divis ion to investigate com plaints concerning police tactics used in the Gay Community. Reports indicate that as many as 200 gay persons h#ve been arrested since mid-Mar ch with 150 of those ar rests occuring during a two week period in May. Inman reaffirmed the APD’s policy against en trapment and the use of decoys for seduction. He further expressed his concern to deal effectively with the community in such problem areas. Major Nickerson’s report to Commissioner Bill Smith of the Atlanta Community Relations Commission (CRC) was totally unsatisfactory ac cording to Smith. Smith said that Nickerson either lied or made no investi gation as ordered by Chief Inman. Smith was also concerned by Major Nick erson’s refusal to discuss alternative solutions to such problems. Nicker son said that he would not discuss community problems “with those kind of community lead ers.’’ After receiving Major Nickerson’s “report’’ Smith met with Capt. Bur nett of the APD Internal Security Division. Capt. Burnett suggested con tacting Maj. Nickerson’s immediate supervisor, A Asst. Chief Mullins. Mul lins and Smith discussed the situation on June 24 th by telephone. Smith stated that while Mullins did not indicate his pos ition on the entrapment issue he did acknowledge an increase of police ac tivity in gay areas citing not only Piedmont and Winn Parks but a problem area that Mullins would not disclose while the inves- tigation was underway. The problem area men tioned by Mullins is pro bably Sears Buckheadac cording to Smith. Vice division officers are working in three man teams according to re ports from Smith and Rev. Jim Snow of Atlanta’s Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). The mode of operation according to these rep orts is for two older vice division officer to openly 1 ' cruise a third younger vice division officer. Af ter the suspected gay joins the scene (or some unsus pecting straight flees to report homosexual act ivity) the two older office rs leave to allow the third to solict the suspected gay person. This sol- ication may include fol lowing the suspected gay to other parts of the store according to several reports. The re sulting charges may range from lewd conduct to solicitation for the purpose of committing sodomy. Mullins report to Co mmissioner Smith was due on June 27th but Smith indicated that Asst. Chief Mullins had not yet made that report. Smith in tends to press for action against Nickerson throu- gh all available channels. The problem of po lice-gay community rela tions will never be solv ed until there are open avenues of communicat ion between the com munity and the police on, the patrolman level ac- <;o* aing to Commissioner Smith. He has therefore proposed a program of Police-Community work shops similar to those held with various other, communities by the Com munity Relations Division of the APD and sponsor ed by the Atlanta CRC. Smith felt that cont inued conversation with APD administration along^ with Police- community workshops would be an effective method of deal ing with immediate pro blems of harassment and arrest but indicated that ultimately the police were enforcing laws* that gay people will have to act ively organize^ to repeal to realize any”great mea sure of success in end ing discrimina^on aga inst gays by police or any one else. WE ARE CHANGING OUR NAME - AUGUST ISSUE