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Hispanic band accuses local bar of racism

Posted at 11:26 PM, Sep 20, 2015

WYOMING, Mich. -- A local Hispanic band claims they were kicked out of the 36th Street Lounge because of the color of their skin. The band 'Los Pikudos' was playing Saturday night, excited to share the Latino culture with everyone at the bar. But the band said things went south after Wyoming Police stopped the music and the bar forced only Hispanics to leave. The bar denies the charge.

Depending on who you talk to, the band was either kicked out around 1:00 a.m. on Saturday because they were too loud or because they are Hispanic.

Band member Jose Bustos said the bar forced only Hispanics to leave after police were called.

"They kicked us out while they let the American people keep drinking, and we were like, Okay, well why are you kicking us out but letting them drink?" said Bustos. "But we were discriminated, we were racially discriminated."

The manager of the 36th Street Lounge wasn't available, but waitress Ysmid Negron said the allegations of discrimination are wrong.

"It’s nothing that has to do with race, because I’m Hispanic, and I’ve been working for over a year," said Negron.

Negron said police are called frequently because live music can sometimes carry out into the street and it's located in a residential neighborhood. After police broke up the party, the band was unruly, even threatening bar employees, Negron said. Other employees who did not want to go on camera said members of the band were also smoking marijuana in the parking lot, an allegation Los Pikudos denied.

This is the statement released Monday afternoon by the Wyoming Police Department:

"At approximately 12:55 a.m. on September 20, 2015 our officers were dispatched to the 36th Street Lounge located at 945 36th Street on the report of loud music.  The caller was a neighbor.  When our officers arrived, they were asked by the management to assist in closing the establishment down for the evening.  As you saw on the video, our officers were professional and polite as they requested that the patrons leave as requested by management. "