DC Night Club Sues City, Alleging Police-Ordered Shutdown Cost Millions

REUTERS/Larry Downing

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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The owner of a popular D.C. night club serving the city’s political elite is suing the District and Chief of Police Cathy Lanier over what he calls an unjustified shutdown of his business that cost him millions.

Marc Barnes, owner of The Park at Fourteenth, says a four day shutdown placed on his establishment in 2015 cost him more than $1 million and affected his reputation in the city. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Chief of Police can issue shutdowns if the law is potentially being violated.

Lanier said she approved the shutdown after police said club workers rushed an injured man out the back exit to hide him from authorities in the May 31, 2015 incident. An unknown person allegedly assaulted another patron in the bathroom, hitting them in the head, reports WJLA.

“We had somebody mysteriously injured inside of the nightclub and that person was taken out the back door and treated by an employee of the club,” Lanier said of the incident.

Barnes argues the shutdown was an overreaction to the situation, and notes the Alcohol Beverage Control Board did not take any further action against The Park after Lanier’s ordered closure, reports Washington City Paper.

“The police chief wasn’t down here,” Barnes told Washington City Paper. “The police chief got her information from the people that work for her.”

Barnes had a previous brush with the MPD when police arrested him in 2014 for confiscating a woman’s license. He said the woman was using the license to sneak others into the club who were underage. Barnes says the negative attention from the shutdown is still costing him business.

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