ATLANTA — A shocking and vulgar sign posted in front of a local business in Atlanta made it clear no cops are allowed inside.
11Alive’s Faith Abubey talked to the owner of EAV Barbell Club in the East Atlanta Village neighborhood, who is not making any apologies for putting up the sign which has since been taken down.
“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people,” said Jim Chambers, owner of the gym.
While the sign is no longer plastered on the front door, Chambers said he plans to put up a new one without the foul language and still stands by the message it conveyed.
“We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘No Cop’ policy since we opened, and we also don’t open membership to active members of the military,” he said.
For Chambers, a lifelong political activist, the sign and policy is a political statement outside a multi-use space which serves as a gym, community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.
He says groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.
The Atlanta Police Department would not comment on the policy, but told 11Alive News, “were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”
“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want, but we’re not breaking the law,” Chambers said.
What happens if Chambers or anyone inside the gym needs the police?
Chambers says they never have, and won’t ever need the help of officers.
Lawyers say because law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law, only the courts can decide if EAV Barbell Club is violating any anti-discrimination laws.