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Plush Nightclub May be Shut Down Following Violence Outside

Rochester Police may shut down Plush nightclub for good following recent fights and shootings outside the club.

The Rochester Police Department is looking into shutting down a St. Paul nightclub for good after shootings and late night fights. The club says it is being unfairly targeted for violence that spills out onto the streets due to poor police presence.

Plush nightclub in the St. Paul Quarter has had more than one incident caught on camera capturing fighting and shootings in the early morning hours after the club closes.

A Thanksgiving morning shooting that injured four men may be the last straw.

All four men shot outside plush nightclub on St. Paul street Thursday morning survived.

It's not the first time there's been chaos in the streets outside the club.

This past February, a neighbor living across the street from Plush took this video from his apartment window. It shows groups of people fighting in the street even kicking a police patrol car.

"Oh, we'll definitely take care of business relative to the needs of the area to make sure we do not have a reoccurrence," said Jim Sheppard, Rochester Police Chief.

Plush operates under a conditional license. The manager says it has not violated any terms of the contract. Robert Mitchell claims police simply don't want the club that caters to an African American clientele around.

"We've had no issues until the police presence went away. And again, I do think that's their ploy for having this club shut down. I mean, I have people with the RPD, friends, that have told me, they don't want this club open," said Robert Mitchell, Plush manager.'

Some neighbors living across the street from the club have a front row seat to the violence outside their windows.

"The crime has increased significantly and gone to a whole new level. So what we typically witness is large gatherings of people loitering in the street. Loud music. The street basically gets shut down because people get out of their cars and hang out in the street. Public urination. Drug deals. Breaking into cars, vandalism. And massive fights," said Chris Woodworth, a neighbor.

The city law department is looking into whether Plush has violated the terms of its license. If so the police department could shut it down.

The St. Paul Quarter Neighborhood Association has invited city leaders to its next steering committee meeting later this week to discuss the recent violence.

The Rochester Police Department hopes to make a decision regarding the club's future before it opens to customers again Thursday night.

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