Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati: Motorcycle club accuses casino of profiling, to meet with officials

Ten members asked to leave because of shirts

CINCINNATI - A motorcycle club called "Bad to the Bone" accused Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati of profiling after it kicked out 10 of its members and they are scheduled to meet with casino officials Thursday.

On Sept. 8, the 10 wore black shirts that were plain on the front with the Louisville club's logo on the back. The club says it promotes motorcycle awareness.

They walked in the casino through the front doors, but about an hour later they were asked to leave by security personnel, who said the shirts represented gang affiliation and violated the casino's dress code.

Bad to the Bone members gathered Sept. 11 outside the casino upset about their Sunday visit to gamble and watch the Bengals-Bears game.

Timothy Sewell Sr. said his feelings were hurt. He said their club is not a gang.

"I knew we didn't do anything wrong," he said.

"I felt ... profiled because of the color of our skin," Sewell Sr. said.

“I wasn't expecting what occurred to us because they opened their doors to us and allowed us to come in freely," said Tony Warren, a police officer who tries to steer children away from gangs.

Horseshoe spokesperson Jennifer Kulczycki said security at the door was checking patron ages, not the backs of their shirts.
   
"I told them we're in our 30s, 40s and 50s,” said Tommie Roper. “We ain't got time for gang activity. A lot of us own businesses. Everybody works and it's not fair to get treated that way."

Kulczycki said the group was informed it could stay if they turned their shirts inside out.

"If I turned it inside out, you're still going to say I'm a gang," Roper said.

Club members refused, and Kulczkcki said that's when they were asked to leave.

"I felt kind of embarrassed," Sewell said.

The casino's code of conduct is posted at all entrances. Basically, it says attire that management considers vulgar, offensive or could cause a disturbance is inappropriate.
    
"Maybe an appropriate response would have been to ask them to try and adhere to the dress code in the future,"  Christopher Twox said.

Twox, of Louisville-based Connected Voices, wants the casino to closely review what happened.

"Do an internal cleansing. If you find evidence that they were treated wrong, our phone is open to them," Twox said.

Twox says he may contact the American Civil Liberties Union to see if there were civil rights violations.

Kulczkcki said the casino’s assistant general manager did reach out to Bad to the Bone and Connected Voices to start a dialogue about the experience.
 

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