Atlanta LGBTQ bars beef up security after string of incidents

ATLANTA — While Richard Ramey recently reopened the famous LGBTQ bar, the Atlanta Eagle, in a new location in Midtown Atlanta, he has also brought in something else new — more security.

“If you want to go out to a drag club or a drag show, you should be able to do that without being killed,” Ramey said.

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Ramey told Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon that he decided to team up with Atlanta police to keep his customers safe. The decision follows a mass shooting at a gay bar in Colorado last month, and another incident this past weekend where North Carolina police are investigating whether vandals who shot up power substations, wanted to knock out power at a drag show.

Just two weeks ago, Atlanta police arrested a man and charged him with making terroristic threats against two local gay bars. APD says the man showed up at one of the bars with pepper spray.


“It’s just really sad. Here we are in almost 2023 and you know people can’t just accept others and let them live their life without trying to interfere,” said Ramey.

Ramey says he has hired off-duty APD officers to work at his club on busy nights, and he says they do carry weapons.

APD told Channel 2 that many LGBTQ bars now hire APD officers to supplement club security. But Ramey says all the concerns about hate will not affect his customers’ pride.

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“It all just reminds us of the hate that’s still out here in America, but we have to continue to live our lives and be proud of who we are,” said Ramey.