Kansas City KS Jan 19 2018 The Power & Light District again is being sued for racial discrimination after a black Shawnee man says he was verbally and physically abused there.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court comes against the backdrop of a similar pending case.
Arthur Wayne Brown alleges he was at the entertainment district on Oct. 26, 2014, to watch the Royals and the Giants in the World Series on the big screen. Brown says he was buying drinks from the Dubliner’s outdoor bar and needed to use the restroom inside.
When he came out of the stall, Brown said, he was confronted by three security officers who told him he was trespassing and needed to leave. He says the men cursed him with racial and profane language. Brown says he showed them his receipt from the outdoor bar but they pushed him out of the restaurant.
Brown says security officers then handcuffed him and took him to the entertainment district’s security office, where he was “chained to a bench.” The lawsuit says the officers wanted Brown to sign a false statement but he refused. Brown says he was eventually cited for trespassing and told he was barred from the entertainment district.
The lawsuit names Kansas City Live LLC and Downtown Irish Pub LLC.
Rachel Waller, a spokeswoman for Kansas City Live, said the company expects the lawsuit to be dismissed.
“Moreover, not only do we believe these allegations are without merit, they are also strictly limited to a third-party tenant and a third-party security company, not the Power & Light District,” a company statement said.
Downtown Irish Pub, which does business as the Dubliner, did not return a call for comment.
The lawsuit also names First Response Inc. of Mission and individual security officers. First Response is no longer in good standing with the Kansas secretary of state. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Last summer a federal appeals court reinstated part of a previously dismissed 2014 lawsuit that alleged the entertainment district had policies to exclude African-Americans.
A separate discrimination lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court was dismissed in 2016.
Shortly after opening in 2008, the Power& Light District was accused of enforcing a dress code that some said was intended to exclude black customers. The owner of the entertainment district, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies Inc., denied those allegations but modified its dress code and in 2010 settled a complaint filed by the Kansas City Human Relations Department.
Kansas City Star