PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A group of Chinese restaurant owners have sued Philadelphia, alleging the city used a late-night ordinance to discriminate against them.
Philly.com reports the federal lawsuit filed by 23 owners claims police selectively enforced the ordinance by only fining Chinese restaurants for serving food past 11 p.m. The owners say other, non-Chinese establishments that stayed open, like pizza parlors and fast-food joints, were left alone.
Some owners in the suit say the fines have forced them to close their restaurants.
According to a 2017 report submitted by City Councilman David Oh, 562 of 583 ordinance notices issued in a yearlong period were given to Chinese restaurants.
City officials have said the ordinance was implemented to curb criminal activity at night and that they reviewed complaints.