Community leaders concerned about Carousel Lounge shootings - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Community leaders concerned about Carousel Lounge shootings

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COLUMBUS, GA - A second shooting outside the Carousel Lounge has caught the attention of law enforcement and city council.

City officials say they are seeing the trend of crime around the Carousel Lounge.

Now, community organizers want them to shut down the club and others like it.

Two shootings in three months at the Carousel Lounge in South Columbus have people in the community concerned about the safety of youth. Reverend Willie Phillips and Richard Jessie are community organizers who have tried to get dangerous clubs shut down.

 “They need to send a message to these people that they need to clean up their business for their patrons to be safe when they go there,” Rev. Phillips said.

Reverend Phillips met with Mayor Teresa Tomlinson two months ago to make sure she knew about the problem. The Mayor says the city is trying to deem Carousel Lounge and Foxy Lady Lounge crime havens.

 “One of the things that has inhibited our investigation to whether or not they're a crime haven in the past has been that a lot of the illegal activity takes place in the parking lot which is shared. It's hard to attribute conduct to one establishment or the other,” said Mayor Tomlinson.

The Mayor says they will recommend both places be shut down. But, Richard Jessie claims the problem is deeper.

 “We have a societal problem. One of the things we have got to do is look at the entertainment that we have become accustomed to,” said Jessie.

Jessie says the first solution starts at home.

“Parents have a responsibility to train their children. We have not done a good job at that over the last couple of decades. We are seeing the consequences of neglect,” said Jessie.

The city has closed down two nightclubs in Mayor Tomlinson's tenure. Reverend Phillips says there are more clubs that need attention.

“These places are where there is no business for young people to be in. Please think twice about your safety because a bullet doesn't have a name on it,” said Rev. Phillips.

The city will review crime reports and previous incidents at the lounge to build a case to present to the district attorney.

If the district attorney does determine the Carousel Lounge to be a crime haven, it will be closed and ownership will be given over to the city.

Dayne Young

Dayne is a sports anchor and reporter for WRBL. He started covering the Chattahoochee Valley in September 2012. More>>

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