Club Goers Say Racial Profiling Determines Entry To Skky Bar - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Club Goers Say Racial Profiling Determines Entry To Skky Bar

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For nearly six months, News 9 has been logging complaints from people who say it's the color of their skin that determines who goes in and who stays out at Skky Bar. When News 9 went on a busy Tuesday night, not one white person turned away. For nearly six months, News 9 has been logging complaints from people who say it's the color of their skin that determines who goes in and who stays out at Skky Bar. When News 9 went on a busy Tuesday night, not one white person turned away.
Tony Henry, the owner of Skky Bar, said he's well aware of the accusations facing his club and staff. He stressed his staff does not discriminate against blacks. They go by a very strict dress code and they're also allowed to make "judgment calls." Tony Henry, the owner of Skky Bar, said he's well aware of the accusations facing his club and staff. He stressed his staff does not discriminate against blacks. They go by a very strict dress code and they're also allowed to make "judgment calls."
"It's not about skin, color, race. It's about your entire demeanor," said Club Albee owner DJ Saad. "It's a fine, fine line." "It's not about skin, color, race. It's about your entire demeanor," said Club Albee owner DJ Saad. "It's a fine, fine line."

Rusty Surette, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Business keeps Bricktown booming, but some club goers say racial profiling determines entry to one popular club downtown.

For nearly six months, News 9 has been logging complaints from people who say it's the color of their skin that determines who goes in and who stays out at Skky Bar.

"I've never been back," said Oklahoma City resident Tess Mack.

Tess Mack has hired a lawyer and is considering filing a discrimination lawsuit against the night club. She said in September, a family member was told he couldn't come in because of his clothes. Mack said he met the dress code requirements.

"The racial profiling was clear," Mack said.

So she asked the bouncer on duty for a manager and that's when Mack said the bouncer told her "You're being ghetto. You need to leave."

James Dawkins, a former Norman resident now living in Miami, said the same thing happened to him this summer, but when he confronted the bouncer, it became physical.

"Right away he grabbed my arm, twisted my body, lifted me off the ground and put me in a choke hold," said Dawkins. "This was discrimination based on race."

Dawkins filed a police report and attempted to press charges, but he said he was unsuccessful because he was never able to determine the bouncer's name.

"Shandra," a Midwest City woman who did not want to be named, shared a similar story.

"He came up to me and grabbed my arm…And told me to get the [expletive] out of the way," said "Shandra." She said getting into Skky Bar last week was no problem, but the trouble started once they were inside.

"My friend and I were standing on a ramp with several other people who were white, but we were the only ones the bouncer targeted," said "Shandra."

Others have come forward to say racial profiling at Skky Bar is a common occurrence. Many say it happens on Tuesday nights when the place is packed and admission is free. So, Tuesday night, News 9 documented who was going in and who was told to keep out and why.

Rome Dugar said he was turned away for wearing the wrong kind of boots. He said the Polo Boots he was wearing cost nearly $200. But there's no mention of shoes or boots in Skky Bar's dress code. In fact, according to the club's website, the only things prohibited are athletic wear, jerseys, excessively baggy or torn jeans and ball caps.

News 9 saw plenty of club goers wearing baseball caps gain entry.

Thomas Williams and his wife, who are black, were turned away at the door. The bouncers told him his jeans were too baggy. Williams disagreed.

"I saw a white gentleman with baggier JNCO jeans and he got right in," said Williams.

Video taken inside Skky Bar Tuesday night showed a racially diverse crowd, along with a racially diverse staff. But critics say more black people are turned away at the door to prevent too many black people from getting in. News 9 never saw a white person turned away while at the club.

Club Albee owner DJ Saad said all clubs in Bricktown have some form of a dress code, but in reality it's a people code he said bouncers should be looking at.

"It's not about skin, color, race. It's about your entire demeanor," said DJ Saad. "It's a fine, fine line."

Tony Henry, the owner of Skky Bar, said he's well aware of the accusations facing his club and staff and he's conducted his own internal investigations. He stressed his staff does not discriminate against blacks. They go by a very strict dress code and they're also allowed to make "judgment calls" on all those who want in.

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