Herrera Seeks Court Order to Shutter Violent ‘Pink Diamonds’ Nightclub

Site of June slaying has repeatedly violated state and local laws, defied existing court-ordered injunction
Declarations from the Pink Diamonds case (Sept. 30, 2009)
Declarations from the Pink Diamonds case (Sept. 30, 2009)
Pink Diamonds case presskit (Sept. 30, 2009)
Pink Diamonds case presskit (Sept. 30, 2009)

SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 30, 2009) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today moved to shutter the Pink Diamonds nightclub, a notorious public nuisance in the Tenderloin where a brutal June 27, 2009 slaying represented only the worst episode so far in a pattern of lawlessness that has required more than 230 service calls by the San Francisco Police Department in the last six months alone.

According to the petition filed with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter J. Busch today, the adult entertainment venue at 220 Jones Street has been the site of scores of documented illegal acts since the nightclub’s operator agreed to obey all laws in a stipulated injunction last March. Yet in flagrant disregard of that agreement, subsequent illegality at the nightclub detailed from Herrera’s investigation and in accompanying police declarations includes illicit drug sales, prostitution, extended hours permit violations, illegal alcohol consumption, noise nuisance violations, and repeated episodes of violence and disturbances of the peace in the surrounding neighborhood, which includes nearby senior housing.

“The operators of this club have demonstrated shocking disregard for public safety, for the law, for the court, for the police, and for neighboring residents,” Herrera said. “With our motion today, we’re saying enough is enough — Pink Diamonds needs to be shut down before another life is lost. It is obvious that the operators of this nightclub have no interest in running a business within the parameters of the law, and it is equally obvious that this extraordinary step is necessary.”

In addition to a court order that would abate the public nuisance and safety threat by closing the illegal business, Herrera is asking the court to impose significant civil penalties and sanctions under the terms of the March 29, 2009 injunction that was subsequently flouted by its signatory, Damone H. Smith. Penalties and sanctions sought by Herrera for willful violations of the court order include $688,500 in civil penalties under the California Unfair Competition Law; and as-yet undetermined reimbursements for attorneys’ fees and costs; and for costs to the San Francisco Police Department to respond to calls for service related to the club’s operation under the injunction.

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Damone H. Smith et al., San Francisco Superior Court case no. 484-055, filed Jan. 12, 2009.

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