The Reprieve Blues Band is claiming that their performance at a bar in Chicago was ended because the owner claimed there were “too many black people” in the audience, CBS Chicago reports.
The band’s singer and trumpeter, Brandon Bailey—the only black member of the band—says that he felt his black friends and supporters weren’t welcome on Saturday night at McNally’s Pub. “It was all about the music, and to find out that it became about race was very disappointing,” he told the news channel.
After the band played its second set, Mike Cummings, who had booked the band at the pub, told bandleader Glenn Osvarek that they were to wrap up for the night. “I asked him why. He clearly stated there were too many black people in his place,” Osvarek said.
“I would argue that shouldn’t even have been a question, but there were at least 25 or 30 people of color in the building that came to support myself and the band,” Bailey added.
The band packed up and left, although Bailey did blog about it. The Chicago Police Department is now investigating Cummings, who, CBS notes, is himself a cop.
“We’re accountable for our behavior on or off duty. We’re going to investigate it, and if it is, in fact, true, then appropriate actions will be taken,” police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.
Read more at CBS Chicago.