Ray Hill's Arrest Video Tells Different Story Than What Cops Say
Don't Get in the Way of Our Titty Bar Raids, Yo!
Security camera footage taken during a raid at the Treasures strip club shows a Houston Police Department officer shoving gay activist Ray Hill in the chest before other officers surround the 71-year-old, handcuff him and escort him from the premises.
The video of the December 8 incident, which Hill showed to Hair Balls Monday, does not align with court papers claiming that Hill pushed the officer, resulting in Hill's misdemeanor charge of interfering with the duties of a public servant.
Hill's attorney, Stanley Schneider, said he gave a copy of the video to the Harris County District Attorney's Office Monday.
"What the three officers describe in their offense report clearly did not occur on the video," Schneider said.
Hill, who had for decades fought against police harassment of gays and gay clubs and who now brings that same zeal toward, um, titty bars, said he had gone to Treasures the night of December 8 after he received a call about the raid.
The video (which doesn't have sound) shows Hill, who has a prosthetic leg, talking to, or attempting to talk to, an officer holding court in Treasures' foyer, as other officers, patrons and dancers walk in and out of view. Hill's hands are in his pockets, and after about 16 seconds, the officer shoves Hill toward a wall, knocking him off balance. As two other officers swoop in, Hill puts his palm against one of the officers' chest -- a move Hill says he made because he was knocked off balance and was afraid he'd fall down.
To Hair Balls, it looks like another one of those instances where someone forgot to remind police officers that cameras are ubiquitous, and it's not like the halcyon days when you could gaffle someone and not wind up on YouTube. Not that this incident rivals the Chad Holley or Patti LaBelle fiascos, but the point is sort of the same.
Hill told us that he'd heard about the planned raids a few days before they happened and that he informed several high-ranking HPD officers that he planned on showing up and, if necessary, being arrested, so maybe this was just HPD's way of granting his Christmas wish.
But we think if HPD really wanted to piss Hill off, they would have found some way not to shove a 71-year-old, one-legged man standing there with his hands in his pockets. But then again, we don't know how stressful it must be to raid a titty bar, where illegal blowjobs may have been doled out left and right just moments before -- your adrenaline must really be pumping. Your life is on the line. Then some jerk-off senior citizen gay activist comes up to you and starts talking? At that point, we guess, it's either him or you...