Skating Rink Accused of Racial Discrimination

5 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, March 26 2014 Mar 26, 2014 Wednesday, March 26, 2014 6:17:00 PM CDT March 26, 2014 in News
By: Elizabeth Kuhlman, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Empire Roller Rink's owner has to respond to a complaint of discrimination filed through the city by an MU student. 

On March 4, Amenta Christian-Robertson filed a complaint against the rink for discrimination based on race and color. Her complaint stems from an issue she claims to have had when trying to book a private party at the rink. 

On February 4, Christian-Robertson said she was able to reserve her private party for the night of March 7. The original reservation document indicates the reservation was made for 100 to 150 guests. 

It wasn't until days later, Christian-Robertson said, that rink owner Willie Trent raised concerns. 

"He basically said the nature of my party is, when, I would need to have security. I contacted my own security. He was very impressed, him and his wife with my security. However he told my security not to come," Christian-Robertson said. 

Trent said he had concerns when he saw a Facebook invite to the party with more than two thousand invitations sent out. 

"It's gonna take a lot of people. You can't handle three thousand people with just a half a dozen guys. It's impossible," Trent said.

Despite the large number of people invited to the skate party, by the day of the party, only 20 people had RSVP'd. Regardless of the number of people RSVPs, Trent said the  party had to be cancelled. 

"I know what works and what doesn't work. I could see right off the bat that this was not going to work because she would be unhappy, I would be unhappy, and all of the customers would be unhappy, and it would've been a problem."

On February 27, Trent sent Christian-Robertson an email stating, "The private party you originally scheduled was to be for 50 to 70 skaters...based on your changes from the original reservation, I realized I could not accommodate your private party."

But the reservation document KOMU 8 obtained show the numbers "100-150" in the line for "Approx. # of guests," not the 50-70 number Trent claims.  Christian-Robertson said she never changed the estimate. 

Christian-Robertson said she did not feel this was a legitimate reason for her party to be cancelled, so on March 4, she filed the complaint with the city. 

By the evening of her originally scheduled party, Christian-Robertson said she had still not received her $100 deposit back. Trent said he wrote her a check to return the deposit on Feb. 27 and mailed it. But Christian-Robertson said since she did not receive it by the day of the party, she showed up to the rink to uphold her side of the contract. She said she paid to attend a public skating event, and then waited until after it was over to attempt to set up for her party. Trent said he asked her to leave, but when she refused, he called the police. 

"Basically I can't come back here anymore," Christian-Robertson said moments after being escorted from the building. 

Christian-Robertson said all she wanted to do that night was have a fun skating party with her friends. She said she feels she has been racially discriminated against and hopes to resolve this issue in mediation through the city. 

"Racial discrimination. I don't know how she could claim that because we do a lot of parties for African Americans. The thing of it is I didn't even know that she was an African American," Trent said. "I didn't know until the night of the party."

The city complaint was sent to Trent on March 10. The rink has 15 days to respond to the complaint. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Supreme Court of Missouri unanimously upheld a death sentence ruling Tuesday against a Jefferson City man who... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled in favor of awarding $5.3 million to Ryan Ferguson. The court... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 8:30:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
ELDON - Four city workers in Eldon are left in the dark after they have been notified by the city... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:36:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools released its investigation summary into the Battle High School vs. Jackson R-2 varsity football game.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:23:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Four state lawmakers have pre-filed legislation to raise Missouri's fuel tax in 2021. The tax is currently... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:13:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Nearly 70,000 pounds of pork will be going to Missouri families after a donation from the Missouri Pork... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 6:39:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Central Missouri Mother's Milk Depot opened in early spring of 2019. Now, as premature baby rates... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 3:05:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday for Planned Parenthood's fight with the state over funding. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 2:58:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department confirmed it was conducting a homicide investigation after a shooting at the Welcome Inn... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – The man accused of killing a woman who has been missing since 2006 appeared in court Tuesday afternoon.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 2:35:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
MOBERLY - Police confirmed the identity of a man accused of robbing a gas station at gun point Saturday. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 2:25:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou officially announced the 33rd head coach in football program history Tuesday, welcoming former Appalachian State head coach... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 1:32:00 PM CST December 10, 2019 in News
COOPER COUNTY – Emergency crews continued the search for the body of missing Columbia woman Mengqi Ji Elledge early Tuesday... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:14:00 AM CST December 10, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are poised to unveil two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump — abuse of... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 8:24:00 AM CST December 10, 2019 in News
PRAGUE (AP) - Police and officials say six people have been killed and three wounded in a shooting in a... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 5:33:57 AM CST December 10, 2019 in News
WHAKATANE, New Zealand (AP) — Police say a person injured in a volcanic eruption in New Zealand has died in... More >>
2 days ago Tuesday, December 10 2019 Dec 10, 2019 Tuesday, December 10, 2019 5:29:00 AM CST December 10, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Property owners of two buildings in the heart of Jefferson City are facing a deadline to either... More >>
2 days ago Monday, December 09 2019 Dec 9, 2019 Monday, December 09, 2019 6:39:00 PM CST December 09, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Gary Edge's son was the muscle at Cornerstone. The 15-year-old, who was placed in... More >>
2 days ago Monday, December 09 2019 Dec 9, 2019 Monday, December 09, 2019 4:42:00 PM CST December 09, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
9am 41°
10am 44°
11am 46°
12pm 49°