Police: Airing Of Video Violated Arena License
Police in the Detroit suburb have asked the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to issue a citation alleging a breach of the arena’s liquor license for allowing the video to be shown, the Palace’s Jeff Corey told Pollstar. The video contains images of a partially-nude woman, which police allege breaches a clause in the Palace’s license prohibiting live or televised nudity.
“The public these days is more tolerant of certain kinds of displays than it used to be, but the laws still exist on the books,” Auburn Hills Police Chief Doreen Olko told the Detroit Free Press. “Communities should have some ability to say what is appropriate.”
If the commission sides with police, the Palace could face license suspension or revocation, and a fine of up to $300.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled prior to the Palace gig that the city could not interfere with the performance, rejecting an assertion that the city had a right to edit the video, if not to ban it.
Despite the ruling, police ticketed tour headliner Dr. Dre for promoting pornography.
Olko acknowledged it was the first time in recent memory that police have attempted to crack down on content at Palace shows. She said police have issued citations for more common violations, such as underage drinking.
Corey agreed and described cooperative projects between the arena and both agencies.
“We have great relationships with the city of Auburn Hills and the Liquor Control Commission. We’ve done several programs and funded some programs such as ‘Spotlight,’ where we bring undercover officers in here for shows they deem worthy and patrol for anybody underage trying to buy alcohol and anybody trying to buy it for them,” Corey told Pollstar.
Once the judge ruled against restricting the video, the Palace believed it had no choice but to allow Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg to include it in their set, according to Corey.
The Palace performance came one night after the Up in Smoke tour played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, without showing the video. Detroit officials threatened to ticket and arrest representatives of the tour if the video was shown, and also threatened to cut power to the stage.
Dre said that he planned to sue the city of Detroit over its actions. Greg Bowens, a spokesman for Mayor Dennis Archer, told the Detroit News that the city had not heard from the artist’s lawyer as of July 9.