Second discrimination suit filed against P&L District, this time in federal court

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the eve of the Big 12 Basketball Championship invading downtown Kansas City, a second lawsuit alleging discrimination in the Power and Light District has been filed. The first was filed last week in state court. On Monday, a federal lawsuit seeking class-action status was filed.

FOX 4 spoke with Dante Combs from Overland Park, a pharmaceutical representative who said he was targeted on three separate occasions. In the filing, Combs alleges several situations when he was in the Power and Light District with fellow medical professionals, in professional dress, but said that security tried several tactics, including claiming he wasn’t properly dressed to have him thrown out.

In one incident Combs said he and a friend were targeted by a so-called “Rabbit,” someone hired to fight with black patrons to get them kicked out.

“There were witnesses that tried to speak up on our behalf saying that these guys were not the aggressors, these guys did not start this, augmented with the bar manager that had seen us there for three or four hours at that point, came out and tried to speak on our behalf,” Combs said.

Power and Light District developer, The Cordish Companies calls this lawsuit as “baseless” as the first, saying they vigorously deny this “trumped up and merit less claim.”

The attorney in both of these lawsuits, Linda Dickens, says she has nearly a dozen people who have come forward after the initial story, who say their rights were also violated or that they witnessed the incidents.

Glen Cusimano filed the first lawsuit against P&L and The Cordish Companies last week. Cusimano is African-American and claims clubs taught him techniques to keep black patrons away from the district. He claims during the time he worked as a club bouncer, he picked fights with quote “undesirable” patrons to get them kicked out. He said that same technique was later used on him and he was fired.

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