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Patrons Complained Service Was Slow. Then the Cops Came

Black patrons now say they were racially profiled by manager who thought they wouldn't pay
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2018 9:20 AM CDT
Trouble at an Ohio Bahama Breeze led to the firing of a manager.   (Getty Images/279photo)

(Newser) – A night out at an Ohio Bahama Breeze for a group of sorority sisters ended with complaints of slow service, police on the scene, and now, a fired manager after some of the black patrons said they were racially profiled. WKYC reports on the June 19 incident, when about 40 people, including members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, headed to the Orange Village eatery and didn't like the service. The manager called the cops, claiming the customers were cursing, disrespectful, and "worked up about the bill." Some of the patrons, however, say the manager assumed they wouldn't pay what they owed because they were African-American. Chante Spencer, one of the customers, tells Cleveland.com that one guest who'd waited 25 minutes for her bill got fed up and said she was leaving. She did stay, Spencer says, but the cops were summoned.

Once police arrived, the manager, who claimed that more than one person had threatened to leave without paying, asked officers to stick around to make sure all of the customers in the group settled their individual bills, per a police report, which adds the cops stayed for about an hour. In a statement, Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, herself a member of the sorority, calls the incident "a chilling reminder that no African-American is exempt from the impact of racial profiling when a group of professional women known for their service and advocacy are victims." "We clearly fell short of delivering great service to our guests," the parent restaurant tweeted Thursday. "The manager involved no longer works for us because they mistreated a guest." The restaurant also noted it has invited those involved back for a better experience. (Nordstrom Rack recently apologized for calling the cops on three black shoppers.)

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