Roman Rosha Booker spoke to the ACC about a rap concert held at Caliente Aug. 27 where she claimed minors consumed alcohol — a claim a 16-year-old girl admitted to the group.
“I’m not going to lie,” the girl told the ACC. “I was drinking. Somebody bought it for me. He must have had a fake ID. He bought it for me, but I didn’t buy it.”
According to Booker, the girl wasn’t the only youth drinking at the concert, which was originally scheduled for The Forum.
Caliente owner Roger Powell moved the event to his business after The Forum denied access to the performers because the promoter failed to provide required insurance.
“The point with me is the children in there with the alcohol,” Booker said. “I know people don’t control alcohol. Alcohol controls people. I talked to kids afterward. They admitted they drank.”
Rome City Commissioner Kim Canada, chairman of the ACC, noted that alcohol would have also been served at The Forum.
“There was going to be alcohol at the concert with adults,” Canada said. “They were going to be exposed to alcohol at that concert. The situation would have been no different. The difference is, you’re right, a nightclub.”
Powell slowly nodded his head when Canada said the ACC was one of the strictest city committees.
“We do everything we can to ensure there is no underage drinking,” Powell said.
Booker said authorities would have had more control of The Forum as a venue because of its location and the police presence.
According to Deputy Chief Lonzo Roberson, police spoke to Powell Aug. 27 at his business about his responsibility to ensure no minors drank. If officers are to make an arrest, Roberson said, they must witness the crime or have someone point out the crime — and give names.
“We had no evidence that anybody in the business had sold it to anyone underage,” Roberson said. “Our officers never witnessed any violation of the law.”
Booker told officers underage drinking was happening, though she declined to give names, she said.
Canada advised Powell to beef up his efforts to stop underage drinking. He also suggested Booker encourage parents to stop their children from using fake IDs.
“If you start in the home, we have a lot better chance of stopping it in the street,” Canada added