Fight the gun violence rally at Fahrenheit

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-16 08:42:25-04

Alisha Sandoval likes going for runs with her toddler son around her neighborhood, but it makes her nervous.

"Fights and stuff like that, drug problems," the young mother said. "Two or three weeks ago there was shattered vodka bottles all around my car."

The reason, Sandoval thinks, is her proximity to Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge, a South Lansing club that has become notorious for crime and violence.

"It definitely makes me worried," she said. "I've had times when I've come home and I had to go around before coming in because there's so many police cars."

Even the owner has gotten fed up with the violence. He's closing Fahrenheit, in part because a shooting in the club this weekend left three injured.

"When something like that happens," Germaine Redding, the owner, said, trailing off. "You want people to come in and have a good time and expect that they go home the way they came. The incident, it really touched home."

The club will be closed by sometime next week, Redding says.

This weekend, Lansing's Mayor Virg Bernero and Police Chief Mike Yankowsky both said they would try to have the licences to operate, like liquor and cabaret licenses, suspended. The Michigan Liquor Control Commission issued an emergency suspension of Fahrenheit's liquor license Tuesday afternoon, and seized all of the club's alcohol.

"Instead of putting in the energy and the time and going back and forth with the city and litigation, let's use that time and fight the gun violence," Redding, who says he wants to spend his time after closing Fahrenheit on advocating for stopping gun violence, said. "It's not getting any better, it's getting worse."

Redding is hosting an anti-gun violence rally at the Fahrenheit parking lot on Thursday. The rally will also serve as a goodbye to the lounge.

Many neighbors say they're happy to see the place go, and think without it, the area will be safer.

But Rogis Holman says there are no other places in South Lansing like Fahrenheit.

"It'll probably be a little bit more safer. I can say on the weekends, it's usually the poppinest spot," Holman said. "But then again, there's a lot of crime that happens afterwords. Overall, it's going to leave the area probably dry with entertainment."

"It's disappointing because once you put so much time, money, and effort into something, it's kind of like your baby," the owner said. "At this point, it's time to let it go."