A landmark burger joint in South Central L.A. has repeatedly been targeted by local authorities, forcing its owner out of business.
Known as one of the few area establishments to remain open during the riots of 1992, the owner explained what his shop has meant to the neighborhood.
“We have much love for the community, and the community obviously has much love for us,” he said, adding that even as rioters burned down neighboring businesses, customers continued to rely on his establishment. “We were handing out loaves of bread for free.”
Considering the impact his restaurant has made over the past few decades, one might assume there must be some justifiable explanation behind the continued attacks of city officials.
In fact, this entrepreneur is guilty of nothing aside from operating a business in a high-crime area. With no tangible proof his presence contributes to that criminal activity, authorities have nonetheless forced the owner to adhere to ever more restrictive regulations that he is no longer able to financially absorb.
According to one LAPD detective, the restaurant “has a nexus and a connection to a disproportionate amount of criminal activity.”
This is apparently enough cause to harass a legitimate business owner into unemployment.
Beginning rather innocuously with a request to remove his pay phones, members of the city zoning board and police force soon began ordering him to operate within strict guidelines that cut deeply into his profits.
When authorities demanded he remove outdoor seating, the restaurant reportedly lost 15 percent of its revenues.
Officials enacted almost two dozen other requirements that forced him to foot the bill for such additions as full-time security, a closed-circuit camera system, and perimeter fences.
Instead of focusing their attention on the actual criminals perpetrating the acts of violence and theft in his neighborhood, authorities apparently found it much easier to impose hostile regulations on a private business owner.
“The LAPD wants to control my business,” the entrepreneur said; and there seems to be plenty of evidence to back up his claim.
A subsequent appeal to the city’s zoning board was greeted by deaf ears.
Government regulation on a large scale has bankrupted businesses across America while preventing countless others from opening in the first place.
Unfortunately, small-scale bureaucracy can be just as detrimental to communities as certain businesses are doomed to fail through no fault of their own.
“I’ve been here for 30 years and know how it should be run,” the owner said, “and I’m successful.”
Despite that record of success, this series of incidents shows no one can be secure in personal achievement when government-sanctioned bullies can impose their will through relentless and unwarranted regulation.
B. Christopher Agee founded The Informed Conservative in 2011. Like his Facebook page for engaging, relevant conservative content daily.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.