Family Plans To Sue Power & Light District | KCUR

Family Plans To Sue Power & Light District

Nov 5, 2009

Kansas City, MO – Seven members of a Kansas City family announced plans to file a racial discrimination suit against the downtown Power & Light District. The African American family says they were refused entry to one of the district's clubs in August, even though they were complying with the dress code.

In a press conference outside the Grand Street entrance to Power & Light, Jewelle Ragsdale says that night, his cousin was asked to tuck in his shirt, and then told to put on a jacket. Ragsdale says his cousin complied, but the entire family was still barred from entering the club Mosaic.

"I'm a citizen of Kansas City Missouri, and I pay taxes here," Ragsdale says. "We just feel that why should we pay taxes to a place that we can't gain entry to?"

The family plans to sue in state court, and is asking for damages and an independent audit of the dress codes. Zed Smith is a representative of the Cordish Company, which built and manages the entertainment district.

"The Power and Light district does not discriminate in any form or fashion in the execution of our dress code," Smith says.

The city's human relations department has been independently testing the enforcement of the dress code, and is expected to release a report soon.