Black Man Killed At "Skinhead Nazi Strip Club" in East St. Louis. Then it Gets Weird...
Not only is the city's population 98 percent African-American, it also prohibits "sexually explicit" businesses from holding liquor licenses.
And yet, according to the family of a Bethalto man who was killed in a bizarre incident this past October, City Nights is just such a club.
The paper's latest filing comes in the wake of a protest held at the club on Sunday and cites a flier sent out by the victim's family to promote the rally.
As for the back story, Anthony Rice was out with his brother Aubrey celebrating the latter's birthday when they were lured by the siren song of a neon sign:
East St. Louis mayor and liquor commissioner Alvin Parks ordered the club closed immediately (the Rice incident happened shortly after he'd come under fire for his handling of East St. Louis' nightclub-related violence) and the investigation into Rice's death is on-going. No charges have been filed.
"They decided to stop at City Nights, which advertised Girls. Girls. Girls. They had never been there before. They did not realize this was a white-only bar. This club is owned and operated by Woodrow and Gail Allen of Dupo," the flier said.
Anthony Rice and his son A'sean via bnd.com
The Rice brothers "were turned away at the door and taunted with racial comments by the manager at City Nights and "club bouncers who threw rocks at them and attacked them with Tasers," the flier said...
"The one who chased them with a Taser had a shaved head and a swastika tattooed on his neck (Skinhead Nazi). The son of the owners got into his truck and chased after the group, running over and killing Anthony Rice who was trying to run away on foot," the flier said.
Meanwhile, the family continues to protest (as do a group of local high-school students) and maintains that Rice's killing should be considered a hate crime.
Family members contend Anthony Rice's death Oct. 3 was racially motivated and that the club welcomed whites only.Perhaps even more intriguing, though, is the debate the City Nights incident has sparked about the mayor's handling of strip clubs and liquor licenses in East Boogie.
Student Shaniece Ayers read a letter aloud that expressed the concerns of the law and civic participation class at Vincent Gray Academy about City Nights, which is owned by Woody and Gail Allen and at 1100 S. Eighth St. in the Rush City neighborhood. The family also owns Miss Kitty's, a business that boasts show girls in Washington Park. Repeated attempts to reach the Allens for comment have been unsuccessful.
Parks, who also serves as the liquor commissioner, told Ayers there are no sexually explicit businesses operating in East St. Louis. He said the ordinance is clear. "No sexually explicit business can operate with a liquor license. And, no liquor selling establishment can have a sexually explicit business," Parks said.And then the mayor attempted the best bit of political spin this side of Bill Clinton:
Councilman Delbert Marion disagreed with Parks, saying there are two sexually explicit businesses operating in East St. Louis: City Nights and another business at First Street and St. Clair Avenue.
To clear up the matter, maybe the mayor should visit this website, which advertises City Nights' "$25 Private Dances."
Parks responded saying that whether the business is sexually explicit "is subject to interpretation. Are they stripping?" Parks asked.