Don’t look now but Power & Light District operator Cordish is back in the soup with the African American community. Not Kansas City’s mind you – at this exact moment anyway – but Louisville, Kentucky’s.
“Black leaders concerned over Osborne arrest at Fourth Street Live,” reads yesterday’s headline in Louisville’s Business First publication.
“A number of African-American lawmakers have expressed concern about a potential ‘pattern of discrimination’ at Fourth Street Live after former University of Louisville basketball star Jason Osborne was arrested there Sunday night,” the story says
While the accounts of Osborne’s arrest vary in detail, the most complete was given to WFPL 89.3 FM by State Rep. Reginald Meeks of Louisville who told the station “that the altercation stemmed from Osborne’s female companion, 32-year-old Jacquelynn Russell (an excutive with Humana Vitality) leaving Sully’s to bring in a white female friend. According to Meeks, security allowed the white female to enter but denied Russell from coming back in the club.”
Osborne interceded and according to his lawyer found himself face down on the ground before he knew what hit him.
Fourth Street Live general manager Jim Layson said in a statement that, “There was no altercation whatsoever between Fourth Street Live! security and the individual; the police determined the individual needed to leave the premises, escorted the individual off-property, and ultimately arrested the individual.”
WFPL counters that the police report contradicts Layson’s statement, saying Osborne was “involved in altercation with 4th St. Live security staff after being kicked out of Sully’s bar,” and adding “officers were asked to remove him from premises.”
WFPL also reports that, “Since Fourth Street Live opened in 2004, several people have made allegations of racial discrimination at the entertainment district’s nightclubs.”
“All of us have received complaints of perceived harassment and disrespect at Fourth Street Live,” added Louisville state Rep. Darryl Owens. “I might go down for lunch during the day, but I don’t go down there after 5 o’clock. You run a risk. The record is clear and my mama told me where there’s smoke there is fire. There’s a whole lot of smoke coming out of Fourth Street Live as it relates to African-Americans.”
There’s been similar smoke in KC since Cordish’s Power & Light District opened five years back.
The most recent coming from operators of the KC Strip feeling that the P&L’s unhappiness over African Americans being dropped off there may have lead to the entertainment district’s severing it’s ties with the trolly service, resulting in the Strip having to close its doors.