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Saturday, October 16, 2021

After fatal shooting, owner of Tropics Restaurant & Bar counters neighborhood push to close business

SCHENECTADY – The co-owner of the Tropics restaurant and bar at 201 S. Brandywine Avenue made a case for staying open for business in the face of the neighborhood’s push to close it after the recent fatal shooting in his parking lot.

Co-owner Mavis Direm told the city council on Tuesday night that a petition signed by 300 residents has asked the council to keep the business open.

This contrasts with a petition signed by 34 residents of the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association asking the council to close it after the September 5 shooting in the parking lot of a business that killed one Albany man and two others. were injured.

23-year-old E-Shaun Amir Berkeley was shot dead at around 12:45 a.m., while a 27-year-old woman received a gunshot wound in the leg and a 22-year-old man was shot in the stomach.

The neighborhood association’s petition was turned over to the city clerk on 10 September by the association’s president, Marwa Isaacs. It alleged that prolonged efforts and outreach by the owner and the police to clear the crime were not acted upon.

Apart from the fatal shooting, the petition repeatedly referred to loud music, loud car engines spinning at 2 am, broken bottles on the pavement and loud obscene language.

“We are of the view that since the establishment has not taken action to address or consider the concerns of the community, it should be closed,” the petition said, adding that none other than petitioning the council There was no other option.

Direm told the council that the association’s suggestion of repeated requests from past and present owners of the tropics was wrong.

Dyreum said the ownership had not received any notices or complaints from police or the neighborhood association during the year that Dyrem managed the restaurant.

Diyaram said the restaurant held a meeting in the neighborhood earlier this month in which about a dozen people spoke about security concerns.

She said some residents of nearby Strong Street were under the impression that Tropics owners were being told about ongoing concerns. The neighborhood association’s petition was the first time the business had heard of the concerns, she said..

Dyram said the business had video footage that showed the shooter and fatal shooting victim did not patronize the tropics that evening.

Dyram said the three victim victims were at the Speedway gas station next door, then stopped for two women who were leaving the bar.

Speaking to the council, the owner said that the Tropics deliberately chose their location in Hamilton Hill because of its diversity to the Caribbean and “made this place feel like home.”

In return, she said, the tropics “provide a welcoming safe environment for an already damaged building that was abandoned for more than eight years.”

She said it has 13 high-definition cameras that are strategically placed inside and outside the business to protect patrons and the surrounding neighborhood. He said those cameras have helped police in previous investigations of the neighborhood.

On the night of the shooting, the business closed at 1 a.m. to aid in the police investigation.

Councilwoman Marion Porterfield said she and council president John Mutowren recently visited the neighborhood and spoke to the people who signed the association’s petition.

She said the two council members want to help facilitate another meeting between residents and owners of the tropics. She said she also wants to address gatherings at the neighboring Speedway gas station, where people gather for a party-like atmosphere after the Tropics close.

Porterfield also noted that there was no official meeting of the Hamilton Hill Neighborhood Association regarding her petition.

Mootooveren said that some people raised their voices about “misinformation being presented to them” and signed a petition that they said was not clearly conveyed to them. .

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” said Mootuvren, some puzzled by the title of the petition. He said he expressed his intention to speak at the next meeting.

After the meeting, Isaac pushed back against any notion that the petition was misrepresented, downplaying his role in collecting the signatures.

Isaac said he appropriately titled the petition and gave it to a resident to collect signatures. She said that she has no other role.

Isaacs reiterated that supporters of the petition only want the city to shut down business on Friday. However, the petition reads as a wish to shut down the business outright.

On Contact Correspondent Brian Lee [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

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Categories: News, Schenectady County

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