Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Following Story in from the Detroit Free Press on the
Story of the raid in the C.A.I.D. on Late Friday Night/ Early Saturday Morning.

This Story show up today in print in the Free Press
and on line at www.freep.com

Story Link: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080603/NEWS05/806030400/&imw=Y

Detroit police raid art gallery, ticket 130
Alcohol sales targeted

June 3, 2008

Officials at a west-side art gallery were consulting with attorneys Monday after a Detroit police raid Saturday morning left 130 partygoers with loitering tickets and 44 vehicles impounded.

Police said the raid targeted illegal after-hours alcohol sales.

Patrons described commando-dressed cops, some heavily armed, bursting into a popular monthly party at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit -- widely known as CAID --about 2:20 a.m. and forcing people to the floor at gunpoint. Some patrons described police as abusive, said Aaron Timlin, CAID's executive director.

"There were serious civil liberties issues here," said Timlin, who said the crowd was composed largely of young suburbanites.

One patron, identifying himself as Derrick, posted a detailed account on MySpace. It read in part:

"One man claimed he was an attorney. The man stood on his knees, asking the police what was happening, explaining his occupation as an attorney. He was promptly kicked in the back, and forced onto his hands."

Detroit police spokesman James Tate said he had not seen any official complaints, and noted that filing a complaint is what patrons should do if they believe their rights were violated.

The tickets issued were for loitering in a place of illegal alcohol after hours. "The reality is they were selling alcohol illegally," Tate said.

Timlin said police visited the gallery about six weeks ago over similar after-hours issues and were "nice and helpful."

CAID is a nonprofit that for 29 years has promoted art and art education in Detroit. The raid took place in its gallery in a 119-year-old building on Rosa Parks Boulevard north of West Warren.

The party under way Saturday morning was the monthly Funk Night, at which gallery members dance to funk music. The party usually starts at midnight and lasts until about 5 a.m.

The reported heavy-handed police presence elicited derision on some art and music Web sites. The Metro Times' music site carried a headline that read: "DETROIT POLICE BUST FUNK TERRORIST CELL."

Contact BILL McGRAW at bmcgraw@freepress.com.

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