Five Points bar the blame for recent acts of violence
Thu, 07 Nov 2013 03:56:55 GMT —
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - In an effort to crack down on violence in the Five Points area, the Richland County Sheriff's Department took action over the weekend with specialized units to identify any problems.
Sheriff Lott says one specific problem is gangs who have claimed Five Pints as their territory.
"Our guys had determined that from 12 midnight on, Five Points was the hub for all gang members in the Columbia area to go to," said Sheriff Leon Lott.
Deputies were in uniform and undercover looking for gang members and people looking for trouble.
Of those hotspots deputies patrolled, Sheriff Lott points to the bar, The Library, as the problem.
"They cater to this kind of activity, they allow this activity to go inside," said Lott.
The Library has been in Five Points for five years, once known as a white college bar. Now that the crowd has become predominately black, Justin Kershner, the owner of The Library, says it is not a gang problem.
"We're about young college kids having fun," said Kershner. "Just because it happens to be black you want to call me a gang club."
Kershner says he doesn't discriminate at his establishment, and feels he is being racially targeted by surrounding businesses and law enforcement.
He adds that his club abides by the rules, and has even changed polices to make the club more safe.
The local bar owner says he has made an effort to contacting law enforcement officials to see what he could do to eliminate the problems in Five Points. He has been unsuccessful at reaching anyone.
"Come tell me, I'll help you get rid of it. I don't want it here. That's not what we're about," said Kershner.