The District responds to LPD attempting temporary closure of venue

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The owner of The District Event Center in Lafayette responded to Lafayette Police Department attempting to temporarily close the venue following a fatal shooting in the parking lot on August 8. The owner says that additional security measures have been taken.

The Daily Advertiser reported that LPD Chief Thomas Glover wrote in a letter to The District that he determined “grounds for emergency closure have been established” because of the shooting that left one dead and another hospitalized.

Chief Glover wanted the club to be closed from 8 p.m. Saturday, August 14 to 6 a.m. Sunday, August 15, however, a district judge ruled against the chief, and the club remains open.

The closure would have affected The District and the adjacent bingo hall, and it would’ve prohibited any events where alcohol is served until the facility submits a security plan to LPD for approval, according to the Daily Advertiser.

A local ordinance allows law enforcement to close establishments that serve alcohol if they pose “imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

The club is owned by Danny Smith, who also owns the Grant Street Dancehall. Smith wrote a response to the attempted closure in an email sent to KLFY.

He wrote that management at The District sought judicial relief to stop what they believed was “illegal and unconstitutional” action taken against the venue by LPD. According to Smith, a district judge signed a temporary restraining order to prevent that action from being taken against The District.

Smith said in the email that management at The District has worked to be good neighbors and community members by taking steps like sound-proofing the building and providing security for events through off-duty police officers.

He also wrote that management was actively working with LPD to establish a security plan following the fatal shooting. According to Smith, LPD and The District agreed to increase the number of officers at the property from eight to nine, then they ultimately settled on twelve, allegedly done at the expense of The District.

“No one can accurately predict when or where violence will occur as evident by the shooting that occurred at city hall as well as the Lafayette Police Department just over a month ago,” Smith wrote. “The best any of us can do is try to adequately prepare for such events by continuing to do our part to prevent such incidents.”

Smith concluded the email by stating that he welcomes “an open dialogue with Lafayette Consolidated Government’s administration as well as Chief Glover to see how we can work together going forward to not only protect the patrons of The District but to stop the increasing violence as a whole across our community.”

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