HOUSTON (FOX 26)
The establishment's name might be changed, but its stigma will remain the same after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a discrimination lawsuit on Wednesday.
The lawsuit alleges that the owners and operators of 360 Midtown "discriminated against African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American patrons in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964," according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice. 360 Midtown, formerly named Gaslamp, is located in the intersection of Brazos and McIlhenny streets.
Ayman Jarrah and his company, Land Guardian Inc., would charge the discriminated people a cover charge to enter the establishment, "while not imposing such a charge on similarlysituated white persons, and denying such persons the right to enter the establishment while admitting similarly situated white patrons," according to the DOJ statement.
"When going out to eat at a restaurant or relaxing at bar, no one should ever suffer discrimination because of the color of their skin," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously protect the rights of all people to go about their daily lives free from discrimination at bars, restaurants and other public accommodations around the country."
"A bar's cover charge based on skin color is prohibited by law," said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas. "All places of public accommodation should treat their customers equally. If not, justice will be sought in our courts of law."
Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin in places of public accommodation, such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, nightclubs, stadiums and other places of exhibition or entertainment. Under Title II, the Civil Rights Division can obtain injunctive relief that changes policies and practices to remedy customer discrimination. Title II does not authorize the division to obtain monetary damages for customers who are victims of discrimination.