Atlanta Out Loud

Politics and rantings and just stuff that catches my attention.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

|| 1:33:11 PM
Police Brutality in Buckhead

Councilwoman Mary Norwood must be very pleased with herself. She got her wish last night (New Year's Eve), the biggest party night of the year. Last night also marked the end of an era for the City of Atlanta. It was the effective date of earlier bar closings city-wide.

When the bars closed and patrons refused to leave the area, a band of the city's finest -- 30 patrol cars in total -- parked themselves in Buckhead and turned their sirens on. Then, the left them on. Partiers fled from the area with their hands over their ears. I can only hope that at least a few of the members of the Buckhead Coalition were wakened by the screaming sirens.

That was a ridiculous move by the Atlanta Police Department which was completely unnecessary.

Other areas of the city abided by the new closing time with no significant incidents, underscoring the fact that nighttime shenanigans seem to be a problem specific to Buckhead.

The old standby of all late-night partiers -- Backstreet in Midtown -- was apparently caught by surprise by the APD's intent to enforce the new closing times even at "private clubs." Backstreet has been in a separate battle to remain open 24 hours. Their New Year's Eve advertisements listed several DJs scheduled to throughout the night in shifts of 1AM-5AM, 5AM-9AM, and 9AM-noon. But, the club shut abruptly at 2:30AM, not even allowing patrons to retrieve articles from the coat check.

Bar owners and others opposing the earlier closing times will ask the City Council to repeal the measure passed in early December at their first meeting of the new year on January 5. Good luck to them.


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