Texas

City of Dallas Sues Nightclub Over Mural Honoring Fallen Officers

The tribute to five slain officers is allegedly a code violation.

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The offending mural
Last Call Lounge via Facebook

The owners of Last Call Lounge in Dallas installed some sheet metal on their property's preexisting fence last year. Then they had a mural painted on it to commemorate five officers killed at a march against police violence the previous year.

"We're just trying to honor and respect the Dallas Police Department about what happened a year ago," co-owner Diana Paz told Fox News in 2017.

Now the mural is no more. The bar took it down yesterday under threat of a lawsuit from City of Dallas, which says the fence is a code violation. City officials claim that they first issued a citation and notice of violation to the club's owners "on or about" May 26, 2017; the citation said that the siding was added without a permit and that it obstructed visibility at the nearby intersection.

The mural itself was completed in July 2017, a year after the honored officers were killed. The club's other owner, Cesar Paz, disputes the city's timeline, telling the local CBS affiliate that he never recieved a notice of violation until after the mural was complete.

An Associated Press story notes the steps the club took to remedy the violation once it was discovered, including applying for a permit for the fence and spending an additional $2,100 to have the fence moved back from the road to increase visibility. The whole project has reportedly cost $15,000.

This did little to appease the city, which started hitting the Last Call Lounge with fines. On March 5, 2018, the city also filed a suit demanding that the fence be dismantled, saying the structure "is illegal and constructed in such a way that it can conceal illegal activity."

Across the country, murals are becoming flashpoints in the struggles over everything from code enforcement to housing construction. The City of New Orleans faces a lawsuit after threatening resident Neal Morris for a mural depicting Trump's "grab her by the pussy" comments. In a different sort of case in San Francisco, anti-development activists are citing a long-gone mural to establish the alleged historical significance of a laundromat whose owner is struggling to convert it into apartment buildings.

For the Last Call Lounge, having to take down the mural is a tough pill to swallow.

"We thought we were doing something right and something nice for the city. We never thought we were going to have these kind of issues," says Paz.

The dismantled mural is reportedly being stored at the Dallas office of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization, which is looking to find it another home.

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  1. City of Dallas Sues Nightclub Over Mural Honoring Fallen Officers

    What does Ft. Worth think about this?

    1. Like most things concerning Dallas, most likely the opposite.

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  2. “constructed in such a way that it can conceal illegal activity.”

    Is there any sort of fence, or building, or wall, or van, or nearly any structure or vehicle that couldn’t be used to “conceal illegal activity”?

    That is one of the most bullshit reasons from a government I have seen in quite awhile.

    1. Solid walls around a nightclub may have the same effect.

    2. Buildings can conceal illegal activity, too. I say Dallas should start knocking them down, just to be safe.

      1. I’m sure city hall conceals illegal activity too, should knock it down.

        1. It’s pretty easy to do illegal drugs in a bathroom or flush evidence down toilets. We should ban bathroom stalls.

        2. Hey, fuck you. City Hall is where they filmed part of Robocop you heathen!

          Just kick all the bums out, but leave the building!

    3. Clothing has that effect too.

      1. In most cases, that’s a wonderful thing.

    4. “Is there any sort of fence, or building, or wall, or van, or nearly any structure or vehicle that couldn’t be used to “conceal illegal activity”?”

      Yes. A fence with the words “illegal activity is happening here” painted on it. That’s what makes this dead cop commemoration ruse so ingenious.

    5. Dallas is swimming in Bullshit.

    6. It’s the Dallas city council, they are fucking idiots. I listen to their meetings on the radio when I get a chance, and it would be amusing how petty they are if they weren’t in charge of the largest metroplex in the State.

    7. Trust me. Dallas Mayor Rawlins knows all about concealing illegal activity. I’m sure he is an expert.

    8. Back in the day that is exactly why gay bars had no windows. Blank walls concealed what was then illegal activity very nicely.

  3. Sorry cops, the law is the law.

  4. I wonder if there’s any political stuff going on here? The cops were shot in a BLM demonstration by a BLM supporter (acting alone of course). Maybe a reminder of such things is not politically desirable?

    I may of course be totally off base, not having a lot of knowledge of Texas municipal politics. But it’s what I’d look into if I were reporting in TX.

    1. It looks like a pretty universally typical code enforcement action to me.

      1. Yep. Just asshole bureaucrats bored and looking for somebody’s life or business to ruin. All for the common good, though.

        1. The highest – nay, the ONLY – good is a slavish adherence to the very letter of the code!

          In my city, you can put bulk items out for pickup after 5:30 the night before trash day. I got cited a few months ago for putting some old desktop cases and a busted chair out on the curb at 5:15. The code troll added a cite for “overgrown grass.” I looked and looked and finally found it: a single eight-inch blade growing out of my driveway, underneath my car.

          Fuck a code troll, yo.

          1. The code troll added a cite for “overgrown grass.” I looked and looked and finally found it: a single eight-inch blade growing out of my driveway, underneath my car.

            Christ, what an asshole. What kind of sad, pathetic little busy-body, wannabe tinpot dictator takes a job as a code enforcement officer anyway? I can’t imagine anyone sad and pathetic enough to actually want to do that shit.

            1. Somebody who hopes never to be fired and to retire on a nice publicly funded pension.

              Just spitballin’ here ….

          2. I wonder how many people realize the notorious serial killer, BTK… worked for the city of Park City as a…

            (wait for it)….. Code compliance Officer…..?

      2. “Content neutral” works to keep them from favoring speech they like as well as banning speech they don’t like. Would anybody be whining about the bar being forced to take down the fence/mural if it were a paean to Nazis? No, they’re only whining because it’s a tribute to…..well, okay, you got me there.

        1. You came to the wrong website to make this argument. Nearly everybody here would defend the paean to Nazis as well.

          1. Unless it’s a trained dog salute…

    2. I blame Al Sharpton.

    3. Maybe the city council ran out of white people statues to tear down.

      1. Quite a few of the murdered officers lately have been black themselves, and many of the cops responsible for police violence against unarmed black men recently have been black as well. But don’t let that ruin the narrative, and let’s continue to focus on bullshit racial arguments instead of actually solving the problem with the culture of policing, almost none of which has to do with race anymore.

        1. Got it in one

    4. Technically, I as posing a hypothesis, which is also called a guess, subject to the stipulation that there might be evidence which knocks my hypothesis down.

    5. I wonder if there’s any political stuff going on here?

      Yes. They failed to ask permission and follow orders. They just built the fence without jumping through all the hoops and redtape involved in getting a permit (and of course, deprived the city of any fees they would have collected).

      The fact that they went back and applied for the permit after they were initially hit with the code violation doesn’t matter. An example must be made before others get the crazy idea that they live in a free country where they can do what they want to their own property.

  5. I wonder if there is a jackboot out there who would willingly tear down their own shrine? It would’ve been far more entertaining to see the showdown from leaving it up.

    1. I’m sure everyone at the city would just follow orders.

    2. I thought code enforcement meant (a) imposing fines and (b) confiscating the property if the owner doesn’t pay the fines.

      There would be no need to tear down the fence, just jack up the fines until the club takes down the fence, and if they don’t, wait until the fines get too high for them to pay, then the city takes over the club’s property.

      Then the city will have the fence on its own property.

      1. Then I guess they sell the property to pay the fine.

        Or so I would imagine.

  6. On March 5, 2018, the city also filed a suit demanding that the fence be dismantled, saying the structure “is illegal and constructed in such a way that it can conceal illegal activity.”

    So I take it privacy fences are also a code violation in Dallas, right?

  7. “constructed in such a way that it can conceal illegal activity” The municipality government recognizes it’s own.

  8. Dallas Mass cop murderer’s Arabic name was Fahed Hassen – racist domestic terrorists ‘Black Lives Matter’ and their Comrades

    “During the search of the suspect’s home, detectives found bomb making materials, ballistic vests, rifles, ammunition, and a personal journal of combat tactics.”
    ? Dallas Mass cop murderer’s Arabic name was Fahed Hassen
    ? Dallas Mass Cop Murderer was Follower of Nation of Islam

    ? Chaos in St. Paul – Police injured after #BlackLivesMatter Attacks Cops With Rocks, * Rebar, Bottles, Fireworks, Molotov Cocktails, July 10, 2016
    ? Gunfire hits San Antonio police headquarters, July 10, 2016
    ? Violence at another Black Lives matter event in Chicago, July 9, 2016
    ? New Black Panther Leader: Cop Killer Micah Johnson ‘Just Got Five Of The Bastards’

    http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd730.htm

  9. A trivial search for “Last Call Lounge, Centre Street, Dallas, TX” on Google StreetView shows the fence was there at least by May 2017 . If there was any issue , why wasn’t it raised then ?

    And ” … conceal illegal activity ” , that’s so lame it would outlaw all buildings .

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