Only on 9: GPD, bar owners, Uptown Greenville hold closed door meeting

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville Police, Uptown Greenville officials, and uptown bar owners held a closed-door meeting Wednesday night to address several issues, including race.

Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said the majority of the meeting was to address uptown Greenville staffing and changes to Halloween in uptown. He said they wanted to make Halloween more inclusive, and possibly bring in food trucks and other activities to improve the atmosphere.

The St. Patrick’s day assault that took place outside of Club 519 and racial issues in uptown were also addressed. Sources close to the meeting told WNCT some bar owners didn’t like having the area being called racist.

They also told WNCT they may hold another meeting in the future to further address racial issues.

Holtzman said part of the meeting was to give feedback to bar owners that GPD had gathered about racial concerns during two public meetings in Greenville.

Marcus Hands, a frequent visitor of uptown, said he doesn’t see any racial issue with bars.

“People got a business down here, they’ve got to run their business,” Hands said. “The only way they can keep their business up is if they keep the crowds coming. If the people don’t feel safe, then they’re not going to come, they’re going to go elsewhere.”

Greenville Mayor Pro Tem Kandie Smith was also at the meeting. She said she asked the bar owners about their dress codes and policy so she could be better informed.

She said she thought the meeting was positive overall.

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