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Justice Department Files Discrimination Suit Against Virginia Beach Nightclub Owner


WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice yesterday filed a lawsuit against Barry Davis and Anchor Inn LLC, d/b/a Kokoamos Island Bar & Grill (Kokoamos), alleging that the owners and managers of Kokoamos, a Virginia Beach-area restaurant and nightclub, discriminated against African-American patrons because of race in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The Justice Department’s complaint alleges that the owners and managers of Kokoamos denied entry to African-American patrons for pretextual reasons and enforced a dress code at Kokoamos that was designed to deny entry to African Americans.

“Denying African-American patrons entry to a restaurant or nightclub because of the color of their skin is a deplorable violation of this nation’s civil rights laws,” said Rena J. Comisac, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Title II mandates that “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation . . . without discrimination or segregation on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.” Under Title II, the Civil Rights Division can obtain injunctive relief to remedy customer discrimination by changing policies and practices. Title II does not authorize the Division to obtain specific relief, such as monetary damages for individual customers who are victims of discrimination.

The continued enforcement of Title II has been a priority of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Additional information about the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department is available on its Web site at Persons with information or complaints regarding discriminatory practices at Kokoamos or other area clubs may call the Department of Justice at 1-800-896-7743, ext. 997.


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