Posted: 6:08 am EST February 7, 2011Updated: 6:20 am EST February 7, 2011
ATLANTA — A police officer involved in the controversial raid of an Atlanta night club now faces drug and alcohol charges.Cobb County police arrested officer Bennie Bridges on charges of speeding, driving under the influence and possession of marijuana on Feb. 3.
Officer Involved In Eagle Raid Arrested Bridges was pulled over at 2:51 a.m. on Interstate 285 near Cobb Parkway. Jail documents showed Bridges was allegedly speeding and also carrying marijuana. Bridges was one of the key figures in the raid of the Atlanta Eagle nightclub. Patrons sued the Atlanta Police Department in a federal civil rights case that was settled for $1,025,000 in December. Officers in the case said they were investigating allegations of drug use and public sex inside the club. “I wasn’t surprised about the alcohol aspect, but I was a little surprised about the marijuana,” said Dan Grossman, an attorney who represented people inside the Eagle Bar during the police raid. Grossman said he learned about Bridgesâ€™ past while looking into the case. “Officer Bridges did have some previous problems with alcohol,” said Grossman. Grossman provided Channel 2â€™s Erica Byfield two documents that indicated Bridges showed up drunk to the police academy and failed to go to a department-mandated alcohol treatment class. Grossman said Bridges later attend the class and eventually the incident was removed from his record. Byfield tried to contact Bridges at his home but no one came to the door. An Atlanta police spokeswoman released a statement saying, “this matter has been referred to the department’s Office of Professional Standards for investigation. Further comment on this specific incident would be inappropriate. However, Chief Turner expects Atlanta police officers to follow the laws they are sworn to uphold and enforce. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action.” Officials said Bridges was placed on administrative leave with pay.
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