Digging Into The Phat’s SWAT Lawsuit

Several media outlets have written about the lawsuit from the owners of Phat’s against LMPD, and that’s fine. All the coverage is great.

I just think it’s more interesting to delve into the actual nuts and bolts of the suit itself.

Here are some excerpts:

12. Smith shoved Plaintiff out of the way to gain entry to the club despite Williams’ willingness to allow him access. Smith then arrested Plaintiff Bert Williams, Jr., and charged him with Obstruction of Governmental Operations, Terroristic Threatening, Disorderly Conduct, and Alcohol Intoxication.

13. Officer Smith falsified information on the Uniform Citation issued in conjunction with Plaintiff’s arrest.

14. The Jefferson County Attorney’s office ultimately dismissed all charges against Plaintiff Bert Williams, Jr., except Obstruction of Governmental Operations. Smith’s basis for this charge was that Plaintiff allegedly stood in Smith’s way (i.e., “obstructed”) when Smith tried to enter the club without permission and without a warrant.


16. A security video from the club clearly showed that Plaintiff did not obstruct Officer Smith at all. This video was played for a jury at trial on the Obstruction of Governmental Operations charge.

17. While the charges were pending against Plaintiff Bert Williams, Jr., certain named Defendants, along with other Unknown Defendants involved in law enforcement, initiated an investigation nicknamed “Operation Purple Rain.” The goal of the investigation was the permanent closure of Phat’s, and to effect the prosecution of Bert Williams, Jr., as set forth above.


24. During the SWAT raid, Defendants attempted to shut down or otherwise tamper with the security cameras in the club so as to conceal their illegal actions, to include but not be limited to theft of property and the planting of inculpating “evidence”

Yeah. It just gets better and better.

Wanna read the entire thing? Click here (Warning: PDF Link) for that.

I’m not leaning one way or the other on the case. But. The entire thing is crazy sauce, isn’t it?

5 thoughts on “Digging Into The Phat’s SWAT Lawsuit

  1. Phat’s owner leased space downtown thru one of his dancers as a strawman to open a strip club under the guise of a nightclub only to find out that his dancer had a pending felony charge for drugs. He probably blew $20k and didn’t realize his strawman automatically was disqualified for holding a liquor license.

    It’s the gang that couldn’t shoot straight…

  2. Let me get this straight. They are suing? Seriously, unless I am mistaken they held a liquor license which means that law enforcement has the right to enter the premises for inspections. So if they denied Officer Smith entry, even if verbally, they would have been in violation.

    And a search warrant affidavit was viewed and signed by a judge, which makes the search legal, ASSuming that the material in the warrant was accurate.

    I am not sure of the behavior inside the club. But individuals inside a location of a search warrant may be detained for a reasonable period of time to be identified and checked for warrants/summons before being released.

    Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  3. I guess the LMPD don’t like black clubs, especially black clubs where the female employees are sexily dressed like the girls that are working some of the clubs at 4th Street live!…..hell they’ll couch dane you in the VIP sections at 4th st….

    But for the record, I don’t think the LMPD has to have a wwarrant to walk in any licensed premises where public occupancy is allowed….now offices and private areas not open or allowed to customers may be a different story.

  4. Even if a business owner can exclude someone most of the time, there is this thing called an “exigent circumstance” which means the police CAN go in. And I’d say a robbery call warrants that response – but he says he didn’t keep them from entering and the video allegedly backs him up?

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