PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – An African American man has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against a Portland bar owner, claiming he was prevented from going inside in 2018 because he was wearing “too many” chain necklaces.
Ray Lamont Peterson claims that was a pretext for keeping the Splash Bar predominantly white.
Peterson’s lawsuit filed Monday claims that Chris Lenahan used a radio to tell security staff to start “arbitrarily enforcing a dress code against African Americans” when he thought the composition of customers was getting “too dark.” The suit claims that Lenahan referred to black patrons using racist terms.
Lenahan told The Oregonian/OregonLive Tuesday that the lawsuit allegations are “ridiculous,” and that he and his partners operate “the most diverse clubs” with “the most diverse clientele.”
Peterson’s lawsuit comes after another African American man reached an undisclosed settlement with Lenahan and his company Vegasstars.