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Lansing venue owner fights to retain cabaret license amid safety concerns following shooting

Ryan Cabell, owner of the Energy Event Center speaks at a podium across from the Lansing City Council
Michelle Jokisch Polo
Ryan Cabell, owner of the Energy Event Center, advocates on behalf of his business in front of the city council during the August 14th committee of the whole meeting.

A Lansing venue owner is pushing to keep his cabaret license. That’s after city officials called for its removal citing safety concerns.

Five people were shot and injured in late July in the parking lot of the Energy Event Center during a concert. Now, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor and the chief of the Lansing Police Department want the venue’s cabaret license revoked.

“It was not a safe environment. There was no security that was keeping it under control. And under ordinance, right now, there has to be security to keep it under control. So, they got the license, and they didn't do the right thing,” Schor said.

In a letter to city council, Police Chief Ellery Sosebee said his team found eight firearms and 70 bullet casings at the site of the shooting.

“It appears that security personnel were present for the event but Lansing Police has determined that there were no security guards to monitor the parking lot during the event,” Sosebee wrote.

He also stated that a review of body worn camera footage of LPD officers showed several individuals drinking out of alcoholic containers while on the premises.

According to Lansing’s ordinance on Cabaret licenses, a license holder is expected to maintain peace throughout the entirety of the premises including its parking facilities or a certain amount of the surrounding area.

The Energy Event Center does not hold an alcohol license. Both Sosebee and Schor want the venue to be held responsible for what happened.

But Energy Event Center owner Ryan Cabell disagrees. During Monday’s committee of the whole meeting, he told city council he has worked hard to ensure the venue is a safe place for patrons.

“I've had my cabaret license for two years. I've owned that business for three years. Over three years, I've invested $50,000 to $60,000 into this business, making it look right,” he added.

The City Council voted Monday to hold a public hearing on August 24th  about the future of the venue’s license

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community.
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