Historic Green Duck tavern shut down amid drug allegations - KCTV5

Historic Green Duck tavern shut down amid drug allegations

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The historic Green Duck Tavern and the Green Duck Lounge have been shut down amid allegations of illegal drug activity.

Health violations and electrical hazards have shut down the east side tavern temporarily. The owner is working to make the repairs and denied any knowledge of illegal drug activity inside and outside his business.

But Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said she is asking a judge to close the business for up to a year because of the criminal activity.

The business has been located at 26th Street and Prospect Avenue since the 1940s.

The Green Duck Tavern is where civil rights leader Leon Jordan was assassinated in 1971.

"We are here today because of the violence that happens right here on this corner," the prosecutor said.

Peters Baker said since May that police have had 19 calls for service to this location, including triple shooting that killed two in the parking lot on Sept. 28. In addition, 21 reports of suspicious drug activity was reported.

Detectives saw drug dealers going in and out of the business to conduct deals, Peters Baker said.

Green Duck Tavern Jimmy Townsend said he will fight to keep his business open. He said he does not know about drug deals inside his business.

"I know they sell drugs around here because I see it. But I ain't nothing I can do about it. I'm not no police officer," he said.

Peters Baker, who was appointed to the office earlier this year, said she plans to target other locations that breed criminal activity.

She said Green Duck's ownership has had since 2007 to correct the problems. She said she hopes with time and proper corrective measures that the Green Duck will reopen.

In 2007, the Green Duck made headlines when then mayoral candidate Mark Funkhouser and wife Gloria Squitiro held at meeting there with residents just before the March election. Squitiro wrote about meeting "some of the regular folks in the black side of town."

After he won election, Funkhouser and Squitiro occasionally stopped by the smoky tavern to meet with constituents.

Copyright 2011 KCTV. All rights reserved.

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