Pop’s Owner Alleges Racial Profiling, Sheriff Denies

3/5/17 – The owner of a Beaver Dam banquet hall says law enforcement efforts focused on his business are racial profiling. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office, Beaver Dam Police and the Wisconsin State Patrol on Friday announced a coordinated effort targeting Highway 151, Madison Street and specifically Pop’s Eatery after authorities got word that a private party with possible gang ties was supposed to be held at the facility. We spoke with Pop’s Eatery owner Musa Hajdini and the business’s manager Kristine Vaughn say they had a Hispanic DJ scheduled to play last night, an ethnic demographic that Hajdini says has never posed a problem at his establishment for law enforcement. Vaughn says when Hispanics rent the place, they usually see one or two police cars but when there is an African American presence the “entire squad” shows up and check every vehicle with a drug dog and flashlight. Hajdini says he and his customers are being singled out and that is illegal. Sheriff Schmidt says race has nothing to do with it. He says the statistics and calls for service speak for themselves and law enforcement will not tolerate fights, weapons and drugs that put Dodge County residents in danger. Schmidt says those falsely implying racism so they may continue their criminal activities will not deter [law enforcement] from doing their job to keep the community safe. WBEV spoke to Hajdini at his business late Saturday night during the time the increased enforcement was planned. His business was empty and during our interview the DJ that had been slated to play last night called to cancel.

 

A post on the sheriff’s Facebook page reads: “The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is happy to report that the event scheduled in the City of Beaver Dam involving individuals with gang ties from Madison has been cancelled. We are pleased that the proactive message and efforts have deterred these activities from taking place. While there were rumors that the event was cancelled, we were not going to cancel our enforcement efforts prematurely as we wanted to ensure community safety. The Sheriff’s Office believes these were necessary steps taken this weekend and we consider the outcome a success as we were able to keep this criminal element from creating disorder in our community.”