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[–]Zapped 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (4 children)

Looks like the story is behind a paywall.

[–]AmericanMuskrat[S] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

Huh, I don't get one. Here's the story.

FLINT, MI -- Since gaining access to the live camera feed at a Flint gas station locally dubbed “Club Sunoco,” the city’s top cop says large gatherings at the business have stopped.

The city has been working to find a solution to large gatherings and possible crime reported in multiple locations in the city, Flint Police Chief Terence Green said.

He previously confirmed police dispersed a gathering of dozens of people, some openly carrying semi-automatic weapons, around 2 a.m. June 14 at “Club Sunoco,” the gas station at Ballenger Highway and Flushing Road.

Photos and video showing the crowd circulated on social media. Some people could be seen openly carrying AK-47′s.

The business owner granted the Flint Police Department access to the live surveillance feed at the gas station Friday, July 2, Green said.

In the week since, gatherings have calmed down at the gas station, he said.

“It’s been suspiciously quiet,” Green told MLive-The Flint Journal.

The department has been asking to connect to the feed for months, Green said. He said he believes the owner complied out of fear of being padlocked.

Prior to gaining access to Sunoco’s camera feed, Green asked the business owner to close at 11 p.m, a request the owner refused. No loitering signs have also been placed outside of the business.

The owner of the Sunoco gas station did not respond to multiple requests by MLive-The Flint Journal for comment over the past month.

Green said “Club Sunoco” is not the only location in the city where large group gatherings have led to noise and traffic complaints.

“We’re here to take action on any area that could be a driver of crime in the city,” he said.

The department is also investigating areas around the Pasadena Avenue and Clio Road intersection, where hundreds of vehicles park in business parking lots at night, he said.

Businesses at that intersection include Club What’s Next, a nightclub police believe may be operating past business hours, Green said.

In addition to noise complaints, there are also reports of shots fired and drag racing in areas police are investigating, Green said.

There were still people in the parking lot of Dawn Donuts, a business across the street from Club What’s Next, when bakers arrived to work at 6 a.m. July 2, Green said.

“Business owners come to open in the morning and find broken glass and bottles,” Green said.

Green said the police department will provide a no loitering sign and parking gates for Dawn Donuts.

The police department’s legal department is also drafting a possible cease and desist to require Club What’s Next close at 2 a.m., he said.

Last month, the Flint Police Department was working to collect 911 calls and police reports to send to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton to determine if “Club Sunoco” should be declared a public nuisance and potentially shut down for a year.

The action would need to be taken to court, however, and Leyton said at the time that it was unclear if events at the gas station would rise to the level for a judge to issue a padlock.

People simply gathering at a location and “creating chaos” is probably not enough to ask a judge to declare a business a public nuisance, Leyton said.

“You have to be able to show that there’s been a consistent request for police intervention because of certain activities that go on at the premises,” he said. “I don’t know that any of that has gone on there. All I know, at this point, is what I’ve seen in the media. But you have to have certain types of illegal activity, such as drug dealing, prostitution, violence, and we need to look at the police reports and 911 calls to determine if any of that has gone on there.”

Since then, the Flint Police Department has not sent reports to the prosecutor’s office as the department looked into other solutions to mitigate crime at the location, Leyton said.

[–]Zapped 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Thanks. It sounds like the reason the gatherings are a problem is because some of the crowds are engaging in low-level criminal activity. That's always tough for the neighborhood and, by extension, the police department.

[–]AmericanMuskrat[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

I just didn't think they could or should stop people from assembling. It struck me as odd.

[–]Zapped 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

That's where "nuisance" laws come in. The gathering in itself is not unlawful, but if it amounts to loitering, then it usually brings in crime. Those laws have been struck down in court, though, as they are in conflict with the 1st Amendment. The police have to attack the crime related with the gatherings and if they can show there is criminal activity there, then they can break them up.

I am surprised the Sunoco owner allowed the police to tap into his camera, but I suspect this was a compromise against them shutting him down. He probably sells a lot of alcohol.