Nightclubs hot topic for council

Published 11:28 pm Thursday, July 16, 2009

At least one member of the Selma City Council wants to examine business licenses of local nightclubs to ensure they’re functioning within the law.

“I think we need to do it,” said Councilman the Rev. Dr. Cecil Williamson. “I think we need to check them out.”

Some questions were raised about how night clubs in downtown Selma operate after a shooting more than a week ago resulted in the death of a man outside a downtown club.

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Councilman Corey Bowie, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said the business licenses of night clubs is one of the issues on the agenda for the group when it meets Monday at 4 p.m. at City Hall in the council chambers.

“We’re going to see what the committee has to say after what Dr. Williamson said at the city council meeting,” Bowie said.

He also said anyone who wished could attend the committee meeting.

On Monday downtown club owners and some city officials met and agreed to work together to stop the violence. Club owners agreed most of the violence occurs outside these establishments in parking lots or across the street.

Already, loitering is banned. Selling items, such as t-shirts or barbecue in front of a club is considered loitering, said Selma Police Chief William T. Riley III.

Many times, individuals ignore these laws. The police department’s manpower is already stretched to the limit.

Yet, when too many congregate outside or old arguments surface among those standing outside a club and drinking has occurred, tempers flare, leading to violence.

An example is recently Daron Snowden, 44, was shot multiple times outside Clyde’s Tornado Lounge. Authorities said Snowden and another man were sitting in a vehicle outside the club when the shooting occurred.

Selma Police spokesman Lt. David Evans said a person approached the vehicle in which Snowden sat. The person allegedly opened fire on Snowden, who was the passenger.

The driver of the vehicle took Snowden to Vaughan Regional Medical Center, but the hospital transferred the victim to another hospital, where Snowden died later.