MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Carver County has terminated its contract with Scream Town after the Halloween attraction’s owner sent a private memo to employees calling for a “zero tolerance policy with Somalis.”
The county says Scream Town owner Matt Dunn violated terms of the contract between the attraction and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office. In the employee memo, which was sent to Scream Town staff through Facebook, Dunn said, “Note that we are having a zero tolerance policy with Somalis. (Other guests, you make your best judgment call) But absolutely zero tolerance with Somalis.”
Dunn later apologized for the note, calling it “poorly written.”
County Administrator David Hemze said Dunn’s note was not ambiguous in its meaning.
“We hold equal treatment of all people among our highest principles,” Hemze said. “Mr. Dunn’s comments discriminated against one group based on their national origin. There is no ambiguity to Mr. Dunn’s comments. Mr. Dunn encouraged his employees to racially profile a targeted group and his comments are completely unacceptable. They do not comply with County policy, and they breached our contract with him.”
Scream Town had contracted with the County Sheriff’s Office for grounds patrol, general security, traffic control, crowd control, and law enforcement.
With no contract in place, the Conditional Use Permit issued to SSP Holdings, LP is in substantial violation. Carver County Thursday issued an immediate stop work order for the Scream Town operation on the SSP Holdings’ property.
Dunn issued this statement Thursday: “We are shocked at the fact that the county has taken this action. We believe their act to be illegal. We are immediately reviewing our legal options.”