Council tables club closure

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Little Harlem is located on Hardin Street.

Little Harlem is located on Hardin

The Opp City Council Monday took no action on a recommendation that it immediately revoke the license of a club where a 20-year-old Opp resident died last weekend.

Opp Fire Chief Cory Spurlin reported that the fire department had received a complaint about overcrowding at the Hardin Street establishment, Little Harlem Club, after Demetrice Hines was shot and killed at the club and four others were injured in an early morning shooting on June 8.

Spurlin said he contacted the state fire marshal’s office and they conducted a survey of the club.

“We found multiple violations and life safety issues,” he said.

Spurlin said the fire marshal’s office is expected to issue a cease and desist order until the owners can get the club up to code.

Additionally, Opp Police Chief Mike McDonald sent a letter to Mayor John Bartholomew recommending that the business license be revoked and that the club in the future not be issued a business license or a liquor license. It does not currently have a liquor license.

McDonald stated Hines’ death was the third homicide in or in the area of this club in his 26-year tenure at OPD.

McDonald’s letter also stated that police officers found large quantities of alcoholic beverages inside the club, and that there was a large number of juveniles present at the time of the shooting.

“It is my view that the continued operation of this business creates a substantial risk to the citizens, primarily the children and young adults of district 4,” McDonald wrote.

Council members agreed to table the issue, stating they would like to receive more information.

The next council meeting is set for July 7.

[caption id="attachment_245701" align="alignnone" width="600"]Little Harlem is located on Hardin Street. Little Harlem is located on Hardin Street.