'Black businesses matter' Hazel Park woman sues City for closing her space, believing its racially charged

'I put a lot into my business and I just want to be treated fairly'
Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 22:51:50-05

HAZEL PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — On Saturday, people in Hazel Park stood behind Timeless Gallery owner Erica Reed both literally and figuratively with signs reading "Stop racial discrimination" and "Black businesses matter".

Right now Reed’s event space business is closed and her license was *revoked* by the city of Hazel Park.

”I put a lot into my business and I just want to be treated fairly,” says Reed.

The Timeless Gallery has been open for two years and shut down by the city three times. The last closure stemming from a double homicide that happened in the parking lot after a funeral repast earlier this month.

“It was completely unforeseeable and out of our control and I don’t know how the city wants to hold her accountable for it,” says Fallon Moore an attorney representing Reed.

Moore believes the City is targeting Reed and her business because it’s black-owned. Comparing the situation to a similar business that operated in Hazel Park for a decade.

“It had about 33, 34 complaints from disorderly conduct to multiple noise violations, and their business license in the 10 years that they operated was not revoked one time, the difference is that business was owned by white owners and here my client is black, ill let you do the math on that," says Moore.

Hazel Park's city manager released the following statement to 7 Action News.

The implication that the closure of the Ivy Room is racially motivated is absolutely unfounded. The Ivy Room was closed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Hazel Park’s residents. The business has had a double homicide occurred on its premises during operating hours and has a documented history of problems with residential neighbors and adjacent businesses. The City of Hazel Park has no further comment as this matter is pending before the Court.

Due to prior noise complaints, Reed says her business has shortened its operating hours closing at 10 p.m.

“I don’t want to be a nuisance to the city I just want to grow my business follow the rules and just be treated fairly,” says Reed.

The lawsuit is currently pending in federal courts.