Maplewood council bares teeth enacting Myth security plan

Following an increasingly tense back-and-forth between Maplewood City Council members and Myth Live lawyers at its June 10 meeting, the council approved a plan for improving security at the venue. 

If Myth shows “substantial noncompliance” in carrying out the plan, Maplewood police can close the venue until the next time the council meets. The council would then decide to implement sanctions like pulling Myth’s liquor licence, the company’s lifeblood, or to take other action. 

“There is some teeth here,” said Mayor Marylee Abrams as she ended the hour-long discussion in order to hold a vote. 

“I was not given an opportunity to respond,” said one of the venue’s lawyers. 

“We’ve passed the motion, thank you. Sit down, please,” Abrams replied.

Moments before, council member Kathleen Jueneman said communication between the council and the venue, located off County Road D near Maplewood Mall, could improve, a point with which both sides agree. She then added it would be better in the future to do it without attorneys getting involved. 

“To be blunt, stay away next time,” she said to Myth’s attorneys. 

“Pardon?” Myth representatives reacted. “Wow.”

The council’s tense tone was in response to a massive brawl, reports of overdoses and theft, and a shooting, all on March 29 after a concert by rapper Lil Baby. The shooting victim, shot in the neck while standing in the adjacent Ashley Furniture parking lot contracted by Myth for extra parking, survived.

These latest incidents, according to Maplewood police, follow a pattern. In the last two years, says a Maplewood Department of Public Safety report, there were more than 20 arrests at the venue stemming from calls for a slew of infractions, including fighting and rape, and over 30 medical calls for alcohol or drug overdoses. 

A large part of the back-and-forth involved Maplewood council members reiterating this history and emphasizing how unacceptable they deem it, particularly the recent shooting. The city has stepped in to quash violence at nighttime hot spots before, having closed the Stargate Nighclub at Rice and Larpenteur after five people were injured in a wild shooting there in early 2017.

Myth lawyers pointed out that the current owner and holder of the liquor licence, Kimberly Brokke, has only been around since the start of this year.

In the intervening time since the March shooting, Maplewood Police Chief Scott Nadeau and other officers met with Myth multiple times to discuss the security plan. 

“I have to say that I was happy that we ended up with so much agreement on some of the conditions,” Nadeau told the council. 

The plan, which puts heightened standards in place regarding the amount of security per event and security training, isn’t completely agreed upon. The June 12 council action gives Myth 90 days to address the largest sticking point — metal detectors. 

Maplewood police recommended adding standing metal detectors at the venue’s doors. Myth representatives say the cost for detectors at each entrance would be upwards of $40,000. 

The city is allowing the venue time to figure out an alternative that both satisfies police concerns and is cost effective. 

 

–Solomon Gustavo can be reached at sgustavo@lillienews.com or 651-748-7815.

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