Is Brookhaven targeting black nightclubs? - CBS46 News

Is Brookhaven targeting black nightclubs?

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The City of Brookhaven is being sued by a group of African-American business owners.

They claim they are being targeted because of their race. In a federal lawsuit, three businesses, all late-night restaurants in the same shopping center, are suing the city over alcohol licenses because all of them were denied.

An attorney for Josephine’s, XS and Medusa said they are being targeted with new alcohol regulations meant to cripple their businesses because they cater to African-American clientele.  

“I just like the atmosphere,” said Koran Proctor. “Medusa, that’s my favorite.”

According to the lawsuit, new alcohol laws are meant to stop what the city perceives as “an influx of hip-hop restaurants.” New laws in Brookhaven now require certain venues to pay $100,000 in alcohol license fees, not sell alcohol on Sundays and close earlier.

The city said it amended its alcohol ordinance to structure fees based upon the utilization of police resources. Earlier this month, Brookhaven police told CBS46 a handful of entertainment venues have a disproportionate amount of criminal activity.

“There were some times where we had every officer in the city on duty at a particular business, those types of calls leave no one to patrol the city,” said Maj. Brandon Gurley.

“When we questioned the city about the changes, they sent this statement:

“Brookhaven police do not engage in racial profiling of any sort. To the contrary, the department is renowned for its outreach in minority communities.”

The city denied their applications to renew those licenses at the beginning of 2018. Right now, the nightclubs are still serving alcohol while they are appealing.

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