Cops believe Reggie Allen mowed down an unarmed black man outside an east-side club more than a year ago. So why isn't he behind bars?

Rising to speak before Mayor Parks and those assembled, Meehan tried to lay out his case against Allen. But Parks cut him off, requesting that both he and the media leave.

"There were individuals [present] who I thought might have clammed up or might have acted out because the media was there," Parks says later in an interview. "We [then] had such a healthy discussion, I knew the businesses were ready to handle their responsibilities." Parks lifted the moratorium that same day.

Meehan, the Rices and their friends kept clamoring for prosecution. They began regular protests, sometimes in freezing temperatures, in front of City Nights. When the Allens put up "No Trespassing" signs, they moved to city hall.

Tim Lane
Tim Lane

Some held aloft signs denouncing "Nazi skinheads" — a reference to Aubrey Rice's assertion that a City Nights employee had a swastika tattooed on his neck. (Riverfront Times could not verify that claim.) Other signs at the protest demanded that Mayor Parks "Shut Down City Nights."

In late December, those picketers effectively got their wish.

Firefighters responded to a blaze at the club just after midnight on December 23, 2009. They wrestled it into submission within two hours, but not before the entire building was reduced to ashes. The Illinois State Fire Marshal investigated the scene but refuses to release its findings to the RFT.

On a Facebook page set up to memorialize Anthony Rice, his mother, Annette Nash-Smith, weighed in. "I'm not pleased that this happened," she wrote. "[But] I can't say this was a loss to the city."

People in the Allen camp have suggested that someone angry about Anthony Rice's death started the fire. Meehan denies it. On the contrary, he suggests that the Allens could have burned the place down for the insurance money.

But Mayor Parks has a much higher opinion of Reggie Allen's family — particularly his late father, Woodrow, who died last weekend after a battle with lung cancer.

"Woody has been extremely benevolent to the city of East St. Louis," Parks observes.

In an interview a few weeks before Woodrow Allen's death, Parks says Reggie Allen's father donated roughly $3,000 to help citizens take buses to the state capital, in a lobbying effort to keep the area hospital open. Allen pitched in to purchase a new car as a gift for 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Dawn Harper, a native of the city. And during the holiday seasons of 2007 and 2008, Allen gave 50 Schnucks gift cards, each worth $50, to needy area residents.

The Allens have also been good to Parks personally. State records show that Gail and Woody made political contributions to Parks totaling nearly $1,000 in 2007 and 2008 combined. But the politician denies it bought any influence.

In fact, Parks adds, he summoned the Allens to his office, asking them to address various issues even before the Anthony Rice incident. For example, a St. Louis man was shot and killed in the City Nights parking lot in 2008. The mayor immediately met with Woodrow Allen, demanding he provide proper security.

East St. Louis city code is clear: No strip clubs allowed. But it does permit "sexually oriented" businesses. Dancers at such places must keep their nipples, buttocks and genitals covered.

Yet such establishments cannot also sell liquor. So how did City Nights offer both "hot girls" and "cold beer," as its sign suggested?

City Nights was "basically a bikini bar," says Parks, where girls were properly covered and "sex wasn't the main thing on the menu."

The mayor adds that he had discussions "many, many, many times" with the Allens making sure they honored the city code. He also personally checked in on the club to make sure it was following the rules.

Responding to accusations that City Nights disallowed blacks, Parks avers that the bar did employ black females and had black patrons "from time to time."

"If Woody Allen is a racist, he fooled me pretty well," he says.

In addition to his mayoral duties, Parks also currently serves as the city liquor commissioner. He doesn't know what the Allens have in store for the new structure they've erected at the former City Nights location. (The building is made partly of empty freight containers.)

But he says the city has denied the Allens a new liquor license pending the outcome of the Rice case.

Parks himself recently viewed the footage that the bar's four surveillance cameras captured on the night Anthony Rice died. The mayor declines to say whether the video implicates Reggie Allen.

But he offers this: "If it's proven to be intentional and unjustified, [the Allens] will not have a liquor license again in that location, and I'd be very hard pressed to allow them to have a liquor license anywhere else in the city of East St. Louis."

He says his heart goes out to the Rice family. "I've given them everything I can give them. The city has given them everything the city can give. The only thing we're waiting for at this point is for officials beyond East St. Louis to make a decision."


When East St. Louis police detective Marion Riddle arrived at the crime scene on October 4, 2009 — just minutes after Anthony Rice was hit — he wasn't expecting a murder case.

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94 comments
Carol R
Carol R

C'mon, you've answered your own question. Racism is alive and thrving in Illinois!!

Slb2980
Slb2980

No one has forgotten about that. We of course know who killed Anthony.. Reggie Allen. But we dont know who shot up reggie's house. Yeah they brought a gun to the club. but it wasnt premeditated to start trouble. They came to party and if it had not been for the Allens initiating racial slares , the stun gun and burning rubber with the vehicle, and throwing a brick at the window, the gun would have never been brought out. They shot in the air to control the situation not shooting at anyone. The asshole knows he did it, He keeps saying he didn't run over Anthony. So I guess he just thought he hit a big bump in the road???. It shouldn't matter who is black or white. Reggie is a bull headed asshole that needs to be in jail. CASE CLOSE!!!!!!!

Kaybee
Kaybee

I just read story and it seems to me that a MAN is getting away with mowing down and killing another MAN. Reggie Allen should be behind bars where he obviously belongs. Doesn't the "3 strike rule apply here?"

Jojo
Jojo

Do You Know Why Blacks call us Honkees ? Because tha's the Last sound they hear before getting run over

CincoCinco
CincoCinco

Didn't know about Alvin 'Payoff' Parks connection or Reggie's black friends till this story. It's impossible for anything to go right in ghetto corrupt E. St.. Good coverage RFT.

Rdrboossman
Rdrboossman

Bring a gun to the club and get your ass kicked. Fire a gun on club property and get mowed down. Makes sense to me. Never had a problem at any of the clubs. Miss Kitty's is COOL. Don,t bring an attitude or disrespect with you and you will have a great time. Chucky is the best . Reggie was not out of line by inviting the BOYS in and overriding the bouncers gesture saying it was close to closing time.The BOYS should have paid the 5 bucks and went in sat down and had a great evening. But instead the BOYS played the ace of SPADES race card and created their own tension and demise.Get over it! quit playing the race card BROTHERS cuz it don't work everywhere. Wish more folks could shut down the race card folks.This was not Reggie that made it a racial issue or shot a gun, or held the main entry door shut- get real BROTHERS this is not good club behavior.

whitey
whitey

i got mowers for sale.....hahahaha

SacredNation
SacredNation

Let's take a look at black on white hate crimes...those are hardly ever covered in mainstream media...and RARELY does the black doing the killing get charged with a hate crime, whereas any time there is a white guy (such as this story) - he's always called a racist or charged with a hate crime. Quit pulling the race card! It's tiring!!

Cashatt
Cashatt

It's all the same thing that keep's our local "Beer Barron" out of trouble. And the real color of it all is green. Not black and white, that is just the cover up story. To keep people off of the main subject at hand, don't fall for the black and white issue. It's about "Count the Money".

a Real Father
a Real Father

I live in St. Louis county and haven't been to the "east side" in years, and I never plan on going back. It is truly amazing that absolutely nothing has been done to clean it up. The local police force is in the back pocket of the strip club owners. I don't condone what Allen did but honestly anyone from the area should know the atmosphere of that bar. I hope all involved get what they deserve and the new bar building at that location suffers the same as the first one did.

Hatesigningup
Hatesigningup

If we were talking about a black persons criminal record as a reason to prove guilt, then we would be racist.....but he is white so i guess its ok. Black people cant be racist

matthew
matthew

I think it was stupidity on both sides. Seriously, what an escalation of violence that could have been stopped by a simple phone call and police report. Somebody breaks out your car window, call the cops. Both parties made a mistake, and somebody died. To be honest, firing a gun in the air is about the dumbest idea to stop violence. You don't stop violence by threatening more violence. As for black people preaching MLK, he would be ashamed of both of our societies. If you actually knew anything about him and not what your racist parents tell you when they confuse MLK with X then you would see that you are still part of the problem yourself. COME ON PEOPLE.

JLM
JLM

Way too much time have gone by and the family of this young man needs not only justice but closure. I unfortunately do think race may have played a role in this, even in this day and age the barriers between races still exists. I am a white man and have at times found myelf to be ashamed of my race. I however like to think that we are all of one....the Human Race!! regardless of all that, the Allen man seems to have an extensive past of violence and if he is indeed guilty of this murder, then justice should be served.

susieque2
susieque2

I gotta tell you that if I were black, I would see this as a racial deal absolutely for sure and with no doubt in my mind. The thing is that I'm not black. I'm white. I have lived in a poor neighborhood in St. Clair County before and I can tell you that the politicians treat us all like that., When one of your relatives or friends is murdered, don't go looking for justice from the courts because it won't happen. If you're poor, you're seen as useless politically. If you're seen as useless politically, you can get killed and the prosecutor's office will fight to keep from prosecuting the obviously guilty. A lot of white people think that East St. Louis's corruption has to do with it's black majority but it goes back to the Polish gangsters. Now they all live in Belleville and look at it.As the neighborhoods change racially the new people take over all the departments; trash collection, police and fire departments, mayor's office, corruption, graft, murder for hire.......

Passion37prgc
Passion37prgc

I used to work as a dancer there. I work for one night because they would not let me dance at Miss Kitty's. There were very racist and still to this day they will not hire me because I am black.

Kgibbs1962
Kgibbs1962

I pray for peace for the mother, Anthony's children and family. Sometime we have to take the long road to justice just becauce we are a strong race. The long wait is in hope that you will give up and let go. How the state of IL let a person with such a criminal history raise and have custody children it's unbeliveable. God has all power and will put the right people in place to bring JUSTICE in Anthony name so the family can have peace.

Anonymous
Anonymous

He's guilty.. You, me and everyone else knows it. Everyone just needs to stop bullshitting and put his white ass in jail.. where he should have been in the first place. It's a shame they would even let an animal like that roam free let alone have custody of his children.. Now's that's a shame.

cbdv26a
cbdv26a

I wander what happened with the accident investagation. They can replay the accident better than being there, with that and the tape. One would think that there would be enough to bring charges, pending the DND results.

R69rag1
R69rag1

I don't see the entire story,there are some things missing,like what happened at the ticket counter that caused these guys to leave ? and what happened that pissed off the white guys? Were words exchanged inside before they headed to their car ? I want to know what caused this to spill out into the parking lot. I'm doubt that these guys were followed out because they decided to just go some where else.There's something not being told,and they did shoot off a gun,why did they have a gun? Some like these guys aren't quite as innocent as the writer is portraying them,does he have an unbiased interest in the story? From what I read it sounds to me like this escaladed from inside, but I can only guess because I don't have all the facts,maybe both sides were acting like fools and some one died.

Gregorywolfgang
Gregorywolfgang

... same reason the guys are not in jail who beat the white trucker Reggnal Denny during the LA riots and murdered anyone white no matter what the age simply being white. The reason was "they's b at da wrong places at da wrong times" Well same goes here "They's b at da worng places at da wrong times"

my00sunfire
my00sunfire

Obviously most of "yall" midwest rednecks can't read.

First of all it says that the gun was owned by NEAL, not either of the Rice brothers. NEAL was one of the friends that followed in a separate car.

Secondly, Rice had no record and did have not 1 but 2 jobs, thats 2 more than Reggie, who is living off his parents like the freeloader he is.

Thirdly, Reggie should have been in jail after the 3rd felony and the key thrown away. How many more people have to be assaulted, injured, or killed by this lunatic? Really, beating up on your own mother. Shows real class. Hope his kids grow up and kick his ass because that is the only thing they will be learning from him.

my00sunfire
my00sunfire

Don't know what judge gave custody of Reggie's kids to him with that record of violent offenses, but I would really like to know who it was so that I can move to have him disbarred. This is whats wrong with society now, people like this idiot shaping the minds of children. Those kids will undoubtedly be thrown out of Elementary School because their grandpa isn't around to buy off any more favors.

Wesley Mcgranor
Wesley Mcgranor

Sweet... see if you can make a hate crime out of this, you commie.

Jperry
Jperry

People are always condoning one ignorant nigger over another. These stupid ass, grown ass suppose to be men, need to go get a damn job or two and start taking care of their offspring instead of strapping like they don't have kids that are looking up to them as role models. And these stupid bitches who enjoy these drama filled so-called relationships needs to keep their legs closed and their options open when sleeping with these men having kids by them. I'm so sick of all this black on black crime it just doesn't make any sense. The men have no kind of morale decency to take into consideration that kids are involved and lives are at stake. Send they're gun toting, black asses to Iraq and see how much they'd enjoy that..

Kissintoads
Kissintoads

Why is this have to be a racial thing. I am so sick of the racial card. Why not Reggie Allen and Anthony J. Rice both MEN from Illinois.

Ghostwriter
Ghostwriter

Look, this is fairly simple. Review the video tape from the club. (1) Does it show things happening as the Rice's say it did? i.e. Bouncers followed them outside and threw a brick at their car? (2) Do the Rice's, upon the gun being retrieved from the car, shoot the gun in the air as they claim? Or is the gun airmed at Allen or another person?

Seems reasonable to me that if the gun was fired in the general direction of any person, that person has a reasonable right to defend himself. However, if that "defense" includes getting into a vehicle and drving down the road a 1/2 mile to run over someone, then that is not self defense, but retailation...or flat out murder.

So...how far from the bar did the run-down take place? A hundred feet or a mile? There is a huge difference. Was the gun fired in the air or was it fired in the direction of people? AND does the video show any of the action that took place as the boys walked out of the bar and were apparently trying to leave? That seems pretty important as an indicator as to who started the whole altercation. Did the boys mouth off standing in the entry loby? Or did the bouncers follow them outside to start trouble? These are important facts that would determine the difference between: self defense; manslaughter; or murder.

Reality Check
Reality Check

Look, if you read this article closely -- which nobody seems to have done -- there's no serious evidence that Reggie Allen himself was a racist guy. (maybe a customer or co-worker of his, ok, but not Reggie himself - hell, even a black friend of his stood up for him!!!!).

From what I can tell, Reggie DID NOT do what he did because of race. Reggie did what he did because he's a hothead who can't control himself -- you see it again and again and again in his record.

That's why this is a "big deal" -- this guy has very rarely been punished for his crimes. What's happened here is that one victim's family has decided to not be afraid, not shut up, and not let him get away with murder.

This isn't about race. It's about justice -- and the criminal justice people, whose salaries we pay, actually doing their f&%ing jobs.

ERICMADDEN
ERICMADDEN

EVERYONE IS LETTING THIS BULLSHIT STORY GO WAY TO FAR. LOOK WHAT HAPPEN IS VERY SAD! HERES THE TRUTH YOU CAN ASK ANYONE WHITE OR BLACK THAT OWNS A BIZ. IN THAT AREA HOW YOU HAVE TO BE TO MAKE IT. LETS TAKE FOUR CONERS. FRED A GREAT MAN THAT I LOVE DEARLY HAS HAD TO DO REALLY BAD THINGS TO STAY IN BIZ. AND MORE IMPORTANT STAY ALIVE! WHEN IT WAS AGAINST BLACKS CAUSE HES BLACK IT WAS A MAN DEFENDING HIMSELF AND BIZ.WHICH IT WAS! NOW I HAVE SEEN JUST A MANY WHITES GET TOSSED OUT OF CITY NITES AS I HAVE BLACK! THATS THE REAL TRUTH. MONEY DONT HAVE A COLOR BUT THEY HAD TO BE STRICT OR THINGS WOULD HAVE BEEN WAY WROST! NOW JUST WEEK AGO THERE WAS A SHOOT OUT AND MURDER AT A CLUB ALL BLACK I HAVET HEARD ABOUT AGAIN. DONT LET THIS BULLSHIT STORY START SHIT! YES IN EAST ST.LOUIS THE WORD HONKEY AND NIGGER FLY ALL THE TIME NOT THAT ITS RITE BUT THATS NEVER WHAT STARTS THE FIGHTS THATS JUST THE BULLSHIT WORDS THEY USE AFTER THE SHITS STARTED!

criticalbunny
criticalbunny

My deepest condolences to the family that lost their son to this senseless racist violence in Saint Louis. I am a caucasian woman native to saint louis and proud to be part of a multi-racial, international family. My family and I know what racism is and feels like and strive to show other people that racism has no place in our country or world.. Racism indeed played a part in this tragedy and continues to play out in the court system. This story angered and incited me and I am sure will have the same effect on many other people. The " Reggie Allen and Allen Family and Cronies" factor continuing to blast through life and lives for decades without being effectively stopped long ago is a huge "fail" on so many levels. If the courts do not effectively prosecute this case, vigilante justice will. I am thinking about Reggie Allen's two children and why he is being allowed to have tender minds around him. Perhaps someone needs to check on these children.

Dwightterry
Dwightterry

Sounds to me like Reggie Allen has some ties with the Illinois Police Department....

Odellmike73
Odellmike73

just heard about this! good guys hun? heres ERIC MADDEN record. in 1999 he was sent to prison for stabing a guy 8 times in the head. while on bond he shot a guy in the belly in front of 20 people. not one person would id him. in 2003 and 2004 he was arrested for murder 3 differnt times. in 2007 he drove a suv into a guys house running the man and his dog over. also in 2007 he stabed a guy in the neck and chest 15 times with a ice pick. that was over 50$ at a 7-11 at 10 am. as you see its where ever and when ever for eric! trust me thats just a small part of erics life! so if hes brothers cusins or just a friend of allens i see the type of person he is too! god please do something with this guy! how many more have to die?

Ericmadden
Ericmadden

Hey u racist dickhead. If 6 people walk in to a store one pulls out a gun they all get charged. Was u there? How do u know which way the gun was shot. Cause at 1st they tried to hide the fact they had a gun! So everyone is rite if you dumb fucks new the law! The man that fired the gun caused the death so by law he should be charged!!! Are going to try to say know one knew he brought the gun? Cause they all knew that a gun was bought along that nite the church boys went to the strip club! Learn the laws before u dumbass people speak. Your opinions don't mean shit!

DJ87
DJ87

If there truly are Extraterrestrials and they are slowing down for a visit, I believe they are going to down shift and keep going the way we are acting on Earth...

Johngilson77
Johngilson77

Doesn't matter....murder is murder. Why would you stand up for someone who runs over someone (the guy who didn't even have the gun mind you) in cold blood? That makes you as stupid as them. If you can't put right and wrong over white and black then you have your own issues.

cbdv26a
cbdv26a

Black, white, yellow, red makes no difference. What is important I think is with a record like that, is anyone really surprised that this guy killed someone? I'm not surprised at all and the color of the person is not why he is dead. This guy was a loose cannon on the streets, someone was going to die or nearly killed by this guy sooner or later.

Johngilson77
Johngilson77

There's no need to be ashamed of your white race. If you're a good person, you know that these white trash losers who obviously murdered this kid...are not representative of the white race. Just the white trash race. If Reggie claims he still doesn't recall hitting this kid in his truck - then he isn't even claiming that he was being shot at so he had to run the person over in order to save his own life. THAT would be self defense...but Reggie isn't even claiming that's what happened...so obviously - he murdered him and I don't blame black people for being mad this guy is still on the street. I'm white and I'm pissed about it! If I was black, I'd definitely thing something is up! Sounds like the politicians/DA, etc. are just pieces of sh!t - racist? Maybe, maybe not...maybe just incompetent. Either way...tragic for the victim and his fam.

susieque2
susieque2

You didn't get it? When they walked into the lobby, someone told them that the place was closed. They probably then said something rude ont he way out, because it was only closed to black people. There would have been other people in there drinking. Then the cashier asked for money, which they didn't give him, saying something rude back and leaving instead. This is the thing that sets off the whole psycho deal.

onefortheroad
onefortheroad

Same here.........Without knowing what transpired in the lobby, how can anyone point out the bad guy? SOMETHING had to happen in order to make the bouncer follow these guys outside..........City Nights might have had a bad reputation but I really doubt they follow "nice" guys outside to see them off. Beings he refered to one of them as Chris Tucker, we can only guess sh-t talking chaos was part of it. Sorry for the Rice family's loss. This episode of drama escaladed way out of control...and someone unnecessarily died because of it. This tragic event should be looked at as a lesson for some...........but I really doubt it will be.....it never is.

Just a thought
Just a thought

I guess it was the racist slurs reported that made people think it was about race? Just saying..

Lily
Lily

between your stark display of bigoted ignorance and your lack of ability to operate a Caps Lock key, you have no credibility and no one's listening. shhhh.

yahoo
yahoo

Yawn. Keep patting yourself on the back

ERICMADDEN
ERICMADDEN

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN OFFICER ODELL? I SEE I AM STILL IN YOUR THOUGHTS! LOL KISS MY FREE ASS!

criticalbunny
criticalbunny

Thanks for reading and commenting. MIssion accomplished. Perhaps you could dig deeply and find a suitable name for yourself, besides the one in my mind.

Jaco1175
Jaco1175

Yeah, you don't sound at all like an ignorant piece of shit. Keep on knuckle dragging you fucking neanderthal.

Jaco1175
Jaco1175

Glad you figured out where your caps lock key was, your next step is to learn the shift and space keys. An elementary level English class would do wonders although I doubt you have time between controlling your whores in the gutter of East St. Louis and the time consuming chore of burning crosses in other peoples lawns.

Ericmadden
Ericmadden

jaco you sound like a fuckin nut! instead of calling ladys you never met names lets get together for lunch you can express you dicksuckin comments face to face! i only got on here cause i was put on here! your just a shit talkin jackoff that has nothin better to do.now to pig odell! didnt you just get in trouble wait no just moved to the 6th for haveing sex with a 14 year old girl. you should be in jail you fuckin freak!

 
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