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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brawl East St. Louis Nightclub VIDEO Fight Caught On Camera UPDATE: Nightclub Liquor License Suspended Fined

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KMOV.com
April 6, 201



(KMOV) – Officials in East St. Louis have voted to suspend the liquor license at a Metro-East club. Blackmon's Plaza came under fire after a violent fight broke out at the club on Saturday night
Blackmon's was cited for violating the city's nuisance law, security ordinance and the state's smoking ban. Officials fined the club $1,000 and suspended its liquor license until April 20.
An inside look at a nightclub fight in East St. Louis on Saturday reveals intense violence among a crowd of about 3,000 gathered to see a rap concert at Blackmon’s Plaza.

The fight spiraled out of control when rappers were ordered to clear the stage. Some fans were hit with chairs – others were pistol whipped. A security guard was even shot in the hand. Witnesses say the gun went off on accident.

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks temporarily shut down the club. “The issue seems to be that security could just not handle what was going on that night,” Parks says.

Mayor Parks is demanding answers after the seven-hour rap show ended in a melee with guards appearing to rile rather than subdue the crowd.

“Sucker-punching somebody when they're not looking, or beating somebody on the ground knocked out is not protecting yourself, that's just being an animal,” says Demetrius Dowdell who caught the brawl on tape.

The mayor is now calling for off-duty police officers to add to club security inside as well as on-duty officers to patrol outside during big events.

“Whether it's 6 o'clock in the day or 2 o'clock in the morning, we want people to come to East St. Louis and know that they're going to be safe and know that they're going to have a great time,” says Mayor Parks.

Fans say the fight puts a black eye on the local hip-hop scene, but witnesses say those who were brawling are not even from the area, but from Indianapolis.

Blackmon’s Plaza has been open for more than 50 years on the East Side. Illinois state police are now looking into criminal charges, and there are reports circulating that Blackmon’s Plaza may have a strip club in the basement, unbeknownst to the police chief.

On the night of the fight, it’s reported that club-goers seeking cover from the melee were charged $10 to head to that basement.
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by Ann Rubin


East St. Louis, IL (KSDK) - A massive fight at an East St. Louis nightclub involving dozens of people was caught on camera. At least one man, a security guard, was shot. Now police are trying to identify everyone in the video to determine who was hurt, who was responsible, and who broke the law.
The shooting happened Saturday inside Blackmon's Plaza, when a concert gave way to chaos. Punches were thrown, and chairs, and people.

East St. Louis Police Chief Lenzie Stewart said investigators are reviewing the video.
"The security personnel, we'll be looking to see if they violated anyone's civil rights and things of that nature," he said.
Stewart said they're also questioning whether the club and the city had enough manpower to handle this.
"Our situation is what it is with the revenue and not being able to have adequate police 24-7. But do you stop the entertainment part of it? It's a call that I can't make," he said.
Managers with Blackmon's Plaza didn't want to comment on the fight. They have since had their liquor license suspended. They'll have to meet with city officials tomorrow to see whether it will be reinstated.
We showed the video to Mayor Alvin Parks. He said the violence will be addressed and that the clubs are even offering to pay for more police.
Illinois State Police and the Department of Justice are assisting in the investigation. The license hearing Wednesday is set for 1 p.m.
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