The state Attorney General's office said today it's sued Peggy O'Neil's, 1310 Dorchester Ave., for alleged civil-rights violations.
The suit alleges that on at least three occasions - the most recent this past April - bouncers made a point of keeping minorities out while letting in whites. The state alleges that on one night in December, bar owner Caron O'Neil herself blocked two men of Cape Verdean and African-American descent from entering, telling them she did not "want any trouble." Then later that night:
A second group of friends of Cape Verdean, Spanish and African American descent went to the bar and were also allegedly denied entry by bar staff. Bar staff asked them for their identification cards which they provided. The bouncer allegedly asked them if they knew the owner of the bar and who they were there to see. At the same time, other Caucasian customers were allowed to enter the bar, many of whom appeared to be intoxicated. According to the lawsuit, Ms. O’Neil told the group that they could not come in the bar because they did not know the bar"s owner. She allegedly stated to them, "You don't look like the type of people" the owner would know and "we don't like people of your kind here" among other statements.
The state is seeking an end to the practice and monetary damages.