By Patrick Hedlund
DNAinfo News Editor
EAST VILLAGE — The family of a man shot and killed outside a popular nightspot on Second Avenue said the club’s owner has rebuffed their request to create a makeshift memorial at the scene of the incident.
Devin Thompson, 43, was shot twice in front of the nightclub Sin Sin/Leopard Lounge at the corner of East Fifth Street a little before 4 a.m. on Aug. 22, police said. He died more than a week later from his injuries, and police are searching for two suspects.
The victim’s sister, Makeba Thompson, said that his family and friends wanted to simply hang flowers from a tree in front the nightclub as a temporary memorial to her brother.
But when she asked the club’s owner about adding the flowers, he asked her not to.
“He said we could do it anyway if we wanted to, but it will definitely bring negative attention to his establishment,” said Makeba Thompson, 41.
Sin Sin/Leopard Lounge owner Philip Quilter acknowledged that he requested the memorial not go up, explaining that it may offend neighbors who have complained about issues of violence and noise related to his establishment.
“I would think there would be a backlash from our neighborhood if there was a memorial put outside,” he said, noting that passersby have been calling members of his staff “murderers” and “killers” since the shooting occurred.
“Some neighbors had stressed that their kids are being traumatized by this,” he added.
But Quilter will not attempt to block anybody from installing a memorial on public property, because “that’s their right,” he said.
“There’s no disrespect or insensitivity meant to the family,” he noted. “She said she understood.”
However, Makeba Thompson wondered how the flowers could create an uproar.
“All he’s worried about is his place. He’s not worried about anything else,” she said. “I said I can’t promise you anything won’t be put up.”