Following a controversial 2009 gay-bar raid that cost Atlanta $1 million in settlements, another violation of constitutional conduct now may cost the state an extra $200,000.
The public safety committee voted Tuesday morning to pay the settlement to Brian Kidd and Sean Venegas, who were college students stopped in June 2010 by Red Dog officers for alleged misconduct. Kidd claimed that one officer place his hand into Kidd's pants to search for drugs, while forcing Venegas to lower his own pants.
The Red Dog unit, which stood for "Run Every Drug Dealer Out of Georgia," was born out of the desperate times three decades ago when Atlanta's drug dealing and gang problems led to deaths by drive-by shootings almost every week. It has been regarded among legal circles for what some consider questionable tactics.
On Sept. 10, 2009, the Red Dog unit raided Eagle bar in Midtown, Atlanta, claiming it had received reports of men engaging in sexual activity in the presence of others in the bar. Afterward, the unit was found to have destroyed evidence and lied to cover up the real story behind the raid. A new unit has replaced the Red Dog unit after its disbandment.
Travis Britt and Cayenne Mayes, two members of the Red Dog unit, were found responsible for the strip search and have already received letters of reprimand in an internal affairs investigation. Mayes had already been fired along with five others for their involvement in the Eagle bar raid.