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Fort Worth Gay Bar Subject of 2009 Raid Destroyed by Fire

Thursday Jun 1, 2017

Investigators say a Texas gay bar raided in 2009 by alcohol enforcement officers has been destroyed by fire.

Fort Worth Fire Department officials say the Rainbow Lounge was closed and unoccupied when the blaze broke out around 3 a.m. Thursday. Battalion Chief William MacQueenette says nobody was hurt.

MacQueenette says some employees were outside, after closing, and noticed smoke. Authorities are seeking the cause of the fire that was extinguished by dawn.

The Rainbow Lounge was raided in June 2009 by Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents and Fort Worth police in a liquor license and public intoxication check. Several patrons were arrested. Two were injured. Charges were later dropped.

The raid prompted excessive force protests.

Three TABC employees were fired. Three police officers were suspended. Both agencies started diversity training.

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