$12M federal lawsuit trial begins between local business and Klamath Falls

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A $12 million federal trial began Monday in Medford. A business owner says they were targeted and discriminated against by the city of Klamath Falls back in 2019.

The current and previous owners of El Palacio, a restaurant and lounge in a prominent landmark building in downtown Klamath Falls, say they were discriminated against and targeted for a higher level of law enforcement activity because of their race.

Many of the claims came under former Klamath Falls police chief and now current county commissioner… David Henslee.

The family says Henslee told them the property was a public nuisance and revoked their liquor license despite the family’s attempts to increase security on the property at his request.

The family’s attorney Christopher Cauble previously told NBC5 the former police chief’s actions were a violation of the family’s rights.

“Attributing everything to El Palacio, even though issues with fighting and intoxication and things like that are shared amongst everybody in that area, all the other bars, but simply focusing on El Palacio clearly shows that they are being treated differently because of their race,” Cauble said. “it’s a violation of federal law, it’s a violation of the US Constitution to do that”

Court documents say the trial is expected to last a week.

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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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