|Portland Oregon Sued For $22 Million in Federal Court For Targeting Black Nightclub Owners|
"It was everything," says Thames. "It was the spot. It meant a lot to a lot of people. It was bigger than Cheers."
The way city and state officials saw it, Thames' business was dangerous. She was forced to close Exotica in 2015 after three men were wounded in a parking lot shooting.
Thames doesn't deny a shooting occurred on the club's property. Instead, she says city and state officials punished Exotica more harshly than nearby, white-owned businesses where violent crimes also took place.
Now, she's alleging in court that the government response was part of a pattern of Portland-area regulators cracking down on black-owned nightspots.