Attorneys claim racial discrimination at Fresno bar

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The two women say they were thrown out for being African-American, but the bar owners claim it was because the pair weren't buying drinks. And now their claims now getting national attention. (KFSN)

Two American Civil Liberties Union attorneys are claiming racial discrimination from a Fresno bar.

The two women say they were thrown out for being African-American, but the bar owners claim it was because the pair weren't buying drinks. And now their claims now getting national attention.

The Brig was busy Saturday when the ACLU attorneys popped in hoping for a fun night of karaoke. They say the fun part never happened.

"It was an embarrassing, humiliating, dehumanizing experience," attorney Abre Conner said.

Conner says a bartender asked her to leave after her group refused to buy more drinks as they waited to sing. She says the mandatory drinks rule only seemed to apply to them because of race.

"We realized we are the only two black people in this bar and you keep coming up to us and ask us to buy more drinks," Conner asked.

The two attorneys blogged about their experience and, on Thursday, the bar responded. They say the two ladies were loitering and that the allegations of discrimination are simply not true.

"The owners have a right to ask for their patrons to purchase something in order to be at that bar, that's the owner's right and this was no different," said attorney Monrae English, who's representing the bar.

The bar's attorney states that the bartender kicked the women out after he was assaulted. They say Conner got physical with an employee in surveillance video and that's why they called the police.

"The aggressor was the female and she was the one who, literally, chest bumped the bartender who had their arms up," English said. "Fresno Police say they did not view the bar's actions as discriminatory when they responded to the call."

The business says they are already being hurt by the accusations.

"They're receiving hate phone calls," English said. "They've had terribly negative posts on Facebook. They'd like an apology. They'd like the girls to apologize."

"It is sad that in 2016, individuals that discriminated against us for being black would expect for us to apologize for the color of our skin," Conner responded.
Related Topics:
newsracismdiscriminationACLUfresnoFresno - Central
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