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Man Sues Popeyes for Racial Discrimination

Man Sues Popeyes for Racial Discrimination


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African-American man says he was treated unfairly and takes his case to federal court

Wikimedia Commons

Seven Speller is suing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen for being racially discriminated at a franchise location in Philadelphia.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is under fire after an African-American man sued the company, claiming that he was racially discriminated, according to Philly Mag.

Philadelphia resident Seven Speller visited the Popeyes location at the food court at The Gallery in Center City, Philadelphia in March, only to be shortchanged when he paid for his meal.

Although Speller paid with a $20, which showed up on the receipt, he only received change for a $10 bill, Philly Mag reports. When he questioned the cashier (who was not African-American), she said she did not remember receiving the $20 bill, despite the accurate receipt.

The cashier then called her manager over, who Speller notes was also not African-American. Instead of honoring the receipt, however, the manager decided to count the cash register. When Speller asked the manager why he did not regard the receipt, the manager said, “This is how we’re dealing with you, the receipt means nothing.”

The manager then reportedly tried to “snatch” the receipt away, and when Speller told the manager that his actions were unfair and racist, another non-African-American employee said that he had called the police, telling Speller, “Get away from here and never come back.”

Mall security and police showed up and took statements to file a report. Although the incident ended there, Speller is now suing the fried chicken franchise in federal court, and has yet to be repaid.


Former Manager Sues IBM for Racial Discrimination

Bernard C. Duse Jr. never thought that being black posed any problems that he couldn’t overcome.

“I have always said whatever problems I will hit in that regard, I will overcome that, and I have always done that by simply working harder and putting my shoulder to the wheel . . . to work harder to overcome that,” Duse said.

His life seemed unlikely to prove him wrong, until January 1984, when he complained of racial discrimination at IBM, his employer of 14 years.

In the months that followed, Duse’s mental stability was questioned and he was falsely accused of sexual harassment. Security agents put him under around-the-clock surveillance, tailing his car and watching him through binoculars. Finally, he was fired.

“You can’t overcome situations where people are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to do the things that were done to me. It was racially motivated in the extreme,” Duse told Stamford Superior Court Judge Sidney Landau.

To be treated “like some two-bit drug dealer . . . took my sense of self and flushed it down the toilet,” he said.

Landau in May awarded Duse a $4-million default judgment after one of the detective agencies that shadowed him didn’t answer a lawsuit. It was a largely moral victory because the firm, LSI Inc. of Fairfield, is insolvent. But Duse, 48, says the record is clear: IBM was suffering from paranoia, not him.

“The damage done to my character has been considerable,” he said in an interview. “I will get a great deal of pleasure having these things exposed.”

Duse is suing IBM and seven former and current executives in U.S. District Court in New Haven for alleged discrimination, breach of contract, invasion of privacy and trespassing. He is seeking unspecified damages.

IBM, which has earned praise for hiring and promoting blacks and this year was ranked by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the top 50 places for blacks to work, denies Duse’s allegations and says it is eager to tell its side of the story in court.

IBM spokesmen said they could not respond to specifics because of an order that the company sought from U.S. District Judge Ellen Burns barring access to much of the evidence and limiting what Duse and attorneys can say.

But IBM doesn’t dispute that its fears about a once-rising manager led to extraordinary security measures and surveillance costing more than $450,000.

Duse earned an engineering degree at the University of Pittsburgh, served two years in the Army--six months of it in Vietnam as a platoon leader and company executive officer--then went to work for Procter & Gamble Co. as assistant manager of a regional data center in Los Angeles.

Unsatisfied with the pace of advancement, he left for Harvard Business School, earning an MBA in 1970. He was recruited by IBM, which marked his rise with superior job ratings and a trip to middle-manager school in 1980.

But then things changed. He didn’t get an expected promotion. His job rating dropped. In August 1983, Duse’s immediate boss, James H. Beall Jr., was put in charge of a project that Duse says he had developed.

In January 1984, after Duse told IBM through his attorney that he believed that he was the victim of discrimination, Beall embarked on a campaign to harass and discredit him, Duse said. “Beall said if it were up to him he would summarily execute me,” and twice commented about sending the Ku Klux Klan to his home, Duse said.

Duse also contends that Beall was behind a sexual harassment complaint filed by a woman whom Duse had hired. IBM found that complaint to be groundless.

It also found Duse’s charges against Beall groundless and ordered him in May 1984 to stay away from work pending psychiatric examination.

An IBM psychiatrist said Duse appeared to be suffering from a paranoid personality disorder and should work with different managers. A psychiatrist picked by Duse said he was obsessive-compulsive, but that “most executives, if they are any good, are obsessive, compulsive and they are also hypomanic.”

It was on the first weekend of his forced leave that Duse started to suspect that someone was following him. He noticed suspicious cars parked on roads around his property, then caught someone looking at his home through binoculars.

He returned to work in July 1984, to a non-managerial position, filed his lawsuit against IBM that month, and was fired in November.

IBM said Duse had instilled fear of physical harm in people.

“I know of no one who in any way ever told me my presence instilled fear in them,” Duse said. “It might be just being black instills fear. Or it might be having served in Vietnam instills fear. I would recommend anyone who feels that way to get psychiatric treatment.”

Security agents who took part in the Duse operation said they watched IBM offices in Stamford and Westchester County, N.Y., and the Connecticut homes of three of Duse’s bosses, around-the-clock starting in early May 1984.

Investigative reports obtained by Duse and his attorney, David S. Golub, in 1985 show that security agents kept close tabs on him. One agent reported heading down Duse’s driveway at 2 a.m. on May 11, 1984.

Two former members of one security detail, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said IBM officials became alarmed when Duse applied to New Cannan police in late April or early May 1984 for a permit to carry a weapon.

IBM was haunted by a 1982 attack in Bethesda, Md., the agents said. Edward Mann, a black former employee who had complained of racial discrimination years earlier went on a shooting rampage that May, killing three people and wounding six. Mann hanged himself in 1986 in a Baltimore prison.

“I remember that being an issue of why they were going to such great lengths,” said one of the agents, a retired police officer. “They were afraid they might have another incident like in Maryland.”

Duse, who is divorced, lives in a home in New Canaan that sits 100 yards from the road, hidden by foliage. He said he bought a small-caliber handgun in mid-May while on leave, only because of the alleged Klan threats.

“I think the security apparatus at IBM was embarrassed at what happened in Maryland and they had a chance with me to do several things showing top management they could carry out their security responsibilities,” Duse said.

“Based on what happened in Bethesda they probably considered all black males a potential danger. We were not seen as individuals,” he said.

According to court documents, IBM made nearly all of its payments for the Duse operation to a Virginia firm, Richard W. Kobetz & Associates. Duse also is suing Kobetz and All-Facts Inc. of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., alleging invasion of privacy, trespassing and unfair trade practices. Both deny any illegalities.

Meanwhile, the ordeal has taken a toll.

Duse said he hasn’t been able to find a comparable job--he was making $72,000 a year--because he has been blacklisted. He said he suffers continual headaches and difficulty sleeping, and at one point considered suicide.

IBM lawyers say Duse has not been serious about seeking a new job and ask why he has not seen a doctor for the health problems he claims.


'I have this sandwich on my mind': Man sues Popeyes for running out of chicken sandwiches

A Tennessee man is suing the fast-food chain Popeyes for running out of its new, popular chicken sandwiches.

Craig Barr, of East Ridge, wrote in a summons filed Wednesday that he is suing the restaurant for "false advertising, deceptive business practices by entity to public. Countless time wasted driving to and from Popeyes. No chicken sandwich. Was told to come back this day- still no sandwich," WTVD-TV reported.

The sandwiches became available at select Popeyes locations on Aug. 12. An Aug. 19 Twitter exchange among Popeyes, Chick-fil-A and Wendy's drove up the popularity of the Popeyes sandwich -- giving Popeyes an estimated $23 million in free press, according to The Takeout.

Y’all. We love that you love The Sandwich. Unfortunately we’re sold out (for now). pic.twitter.com/Askp7aH5Rr

&mdash Popeyes Chicken (@PopeyesChicken) August 27, 2019

Popeyes tweeted on Tuesday that it had sold out of chicken sandwiches. The restaurant chain has promised customers the sandwiches will be back. But that apparently isn't good enough for Barr.

"I can't get happy I have this sandwich on my mind. I can't think straight," Barr told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "It just consumes you."

When the chicken sandwich became available, Barr said he began making regular trips to three Popeyes locations, but was allegedly told the sandwiches were sold out each time.

When Barr was driving to one of the locations, a tire on his car blew and he cracked a $1,500 rim, he said. After fixing the tire, he arrived at the Popeyes only to be told, again, the sandwiches were sold out, he said.

Barr answered a Craigslist ad in which a man said he knew a Popeyes employee and could get him a chicken sandwich for $25. Barr said he met the man behind a Popeyes and gave him the money, but that the man left and never returned.

Barr is asking for $5,000. He filed the civil action Wednesday to Hamilton County Circuit Clerk Larry Henry and was assigned an Oct. 28 court date.

A Popeyes spokesperson told WTVD-TV the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.


Black Man Goes To Deposit A Racial Discrimination Settlement Check, Faces Racism Again And Sues The Bank

A Detroit resident who had just settled a racial discrimination lawsuit against his previous employer must have thought his legal troubles were over when he went to process the checks he received, but he didn&rsquot expect to walk right into another case.

44-year-old Sauntore Thomas entered his local branch of TCF Bank, where he had been a customer for 2 years, with a series of checks that his lawyer had delivered to him that day. He reports that when he requested to open a savings account in which to deposit them and cash part of the money, the assistant manager who served him became suspicious, told him that she would have to &ldquocall them in,&rdquo and walked away to a back room, where she instead called the police to come to the bank and question him.

Thomas and his lawyer are appalled by the bank&rsquos extreme actions and believe that the TCF spokesperson&rsquos version of events doesn&rsquot check out. What happened, they believe, is what has come to be called &ldquobanking while black,&rdquo a common racial profiling phenomenon in which bank workers treat black customers with excessive scrutiny.

This Detroit man ran into one racial discrimination case after another

Thomas told Buzzfeed News that during the confrontation, he made an effort not to become visibly upset, fearing that the situation could escalate similarly to cases in which black people have been violently restrained or killed by police. &ldquoI wanted to make sure I stayed as levelheaded as possible, because I wasn&rsquot going to be the next person on the ground saying, &lsquoI can&rsquot breathe.&rsquo&rdquo

While banks often contact the owner of a large check before processing it, Thomas&rsquo lawyer Deborah Gordon, who provided police and the bank with copies of the lawsuit while Thomas was at the bank being questioned by the police, does not think this is what the bank did before police were called. Tom Wennerberg, a spokesperson for the bank, claimed that the checks displayed void watermarks when scanned, and that the bank was unable to reach the issuing company (Thomas&rsquo previous employer, Enterprise) for confirmation of the checks&rsquo validity. Police, on the other hand, stated that the bank claimed its system did not recognize the checks as legitimate because they were printed differently than Enterprise&rsquos payroll checks.

Thomas successfully deposited the checks with no issues at a different bank where he opened an account after closing his account with TCF and proceeded to buy a 2004 Dodge Durango, as he&rsquod previously had no car and had to walk to work. Local police stated that investigation into TCF&rsquos report of fraud was closed quickly as there was no indication that any crime took place. Thomas has now filed a lawsuit against the bank.

Wennerberg apologized for TCF&rsquos actions, stating the bank&rsquos stance against racism and discrimination, and maintaining that the call was made because of Thomas&rsquo requests and the difficulty encountered in verifying the checks. He added that the assistant manager who called the police is also black.


Detroit Man Sues TCF Bank For Racial Discrimination

LIVONIA, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — A stop at a Livonia TCF bank prompted a racial discrimination lawsuit after a man claims he came in to make a deposit, but the transaction was denied and the police were called.

Attorney Deborah Gordon says her client, Sauntore Thomas walked into TCF Bank to cash three settlement checks for a race discrimination lawsuit.

Gordon says Thomas received the undisclosed settlement from his former employer, but when he went to the Livonia branch Jan. 21 to deposit the funds he was accused of check fraud and questioned by the police.

“To sum up what happened the checks were 100 percent valid. I cannot believe the bank did not know that or could not confirm that. They’re a bank,” said Gordon.

Thomas didn’t know he was walking into another legal dispute.

Gordon said in her my opinion there was “something else going on and what was going on is that my client was banking while black.”

She also wants to know why the bank called the police.

“They thought he was engaged in fraud. That was the assumption that was reached. Ok, so let’s ask ourselves why? Why was that the assumption or the conclusion,” said Gordon, who also told CW50 Detroit’s Cryss Walker a bank manager asked Thomas how he got the money.

The manager then told him the checks needed to be called in and soon after law enforcement arrived.

TCF Bank Communication Officer Tom Wennerberg told CW50 all three checks were “significant amounts and needed further verification.”

The bank is also releasing an apology, stating that local police should have never been involved and extra precautions are taken for large deposits.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Black man sues Detroit bank alleging racial discrimination, wrongful accusation of fraud

He was trying to deposit checks that he received as part of a settlement.

Black man claims bank discriminated against him by not cashing checks

A Michigan man has filed a lawsuit against a Midwest banking chain this week, accusing it of racial profiling, after a teller called the police on him and wrongfully accused him of fraud.

Ironically, Sauntore Thomas was attempting to deposit two large checks that he'd received as part of a workplace racial discrimination settlement with his previous employer when a TCF Bank branch in Livonia, Michigan, refused to accept the checks, saying they weren't legit.

Thomas, a 44-year-old Air Force veteran, said he felt "humiliated" and embarrassed when police arrived about 10 minutes later to investigate the fraud claims. He said he was treated as if he'd done something wrong and he's convinced that the bank assumed the checks were bad because he is black.

"It was embarrassing," Thomas told Detroit ABC affiliate WXYZ on Thursday. "If I was white, this wouldn’t be happening."

Thomas' attorney, Deborah Gordon, said he was able to deposit the checks at another bank without a problem and they cleared less than 24 hours later. She said bank employees could have easily verified the check before calling law enforcement.

"My client had very legitimate checks and he had a bank account at this bank," Gordon told ABC News Thursday. "Right away they told him there was an issue with verifying the checks, which makes zero sense because these checks were from a large corporate entity."

"They kept telling him there was an issue of fraud and that's what caused them to call the police. So then I have to ask, 'What is the reason you think there's fraud?'" she added.

Gordon said her client called her as he was being interrogated by two police officers, while others stood guard outside of the bank. She said she called the bank, but the employees were extremely dismissive and denied her request to speak with a manager.

"There's no explanation for that other than the fact that my client is African American and that is my firm belief. They never offered an explanation as to why the police were called and they never offered an explanation that made any sense as to why they thought the checks were fraudulent," Gordon said.

"They did not believe him, they did not believe me, and they made an assumption that a black guy that's in here with these checks -- it's got to be fraud, so let's just call the cops," she added.

She said Thomas was terrified as the officers barked orders at him and he couldn't stop thinking about how dangerous the situation could become if things escalated.

Gordon said a confidentially clause in his settlement with his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Co. of Detroit, prevented her from disclosing the amount of the checks. But TCF Bank told the Detroit Free Press that Thomas presented three checks written from Enterprise that day: one for $59,000, one for $27,000 and one for $13,000.

TCF Bank apologized to Thomas in a statement released Wednesday and admitted that the police should have never been called.

"We apologize for the experience Mr. Thomas had at our banking center. Local police should not have been involved. We strongly condemn racism and discrimination of any kind," the bank said. "We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash and in this case we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs."

Gordon said the bank's apology isn't enough. She filed a discrimination lawsuit on Thomas' behalf on Wednesday, referring to the situation as a case of "banking while black," and seeking an undisclosed amount for compensatory and punitive damages.

"It's uncontested that the checks are legitimate. They're a bank. It's their job to verify checks and the fact that they continue to not explain this is unacceptable," she said. "I don't think they were honest with my client and they were just making stuff up. . I just think they saw this guy, a black guy in jeans, and it's like, 'What was he doing with his money?' That's the only conclusion I think that one can reasonably come to."


Detroit Man Sues TCF Bank For Racial Discrimination

LIVONIA, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — A stop at a Livonia TCF bank prompted a racial discrimination lawsuit after a man claims he came in to make a deposit, but the transaction was denied and the police were called.

Attorney Deborah Gordon says her client, Sauntore Thomas walked into TCF Bank to cash three settlement checks for a race discrimination lawsuit.

Gordon says Thomas received the undisclosed settlement from his former employer, but when he went to the Livonia branch Jan. 21 to deposit the funds he was accused of check fraud and questioned by the police.

“To sum up what happened the checks were 100 percent valid. I cannot believe the bank did not know that or could not confirm that. They’re a bank,” said Gordon.

Thomas didn’t know he was walking into another legal dispute.

Gordon said in her my opinion there was “something else going on and what was going on is that my client was banking while black.”

She also wants to know why the bank called the police.

“They thought he was engaged in fraud. That was the assumption that was reached. Ok, so let’s ask ourselves why? Why was that the assumption or the conclusion,” said Gordon, who also told CW50 Detroit’s Cryss Walker a bank manager asked Thomas how he got the money.

The manager then told him the checks needed to be called in and soon after law enforcement arrived.

TCF Bank Communication Officer Tom Wennerberg told CW50 all three checks were “significant amounts and needed further verification.”

The bank is also releasing an apology, stating that local police should have never been involved and extra precautions are taken for large deposits.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Man accused of body slamming Popeyes customer amid claims of racial slur being used

A woman was hospitalized after being body slammed in a fight at a Popeyes in Columbia, Tennessee.

Her attorney released a statement saying the investigation continues, but that "if the investigation uncovers racist behavior, we condemn that behavior in the strongest terms."

Video posted to social media shows the moments before the assault. Workers can be seen demanding the woman leave the restaurant, but she refuses. Claims are also made that she used a racial slur when arguing with the workers.

The argument continued outside when one of the workers, 29-year-old Deriance Ra'Shaiel Hughes, followed her outside then picked her up and threw her to the ground.

Hughes was arrested and charged in the case.

The woman's attorney released the following statement Monday:

"For the past 20 years, Rocky McElhaney and his law firm have fought for the victims of intimidation, discrimination, and injustice. We are proud to represent injury victims of all cultures, ethnicities, genders, races, religions, and sexual orientations. We condemn all acts of racism and hate. Rocky McElhaney Law Firm is currently representing Deborah Staggs who was brutally assaulted outside a local Popeye’s restaurant. Investigation of this event is still ongoing. If the investigation uncovers racist behavior, we condemn that behavior in the strongest terms. Yet, our community cannot tolerate vigilante justice. All individuals have a right to safety. It is this right we are seeking to protect, not only for our client’s sake but to ensure the safety of all people in of our community.

Our client is currently recovering from significant injuries which required multiple surgeries. She is unavailable to make public comments at this time. Please respect her privacy and address all inquiries to Rocky McElhaney Law Firm."

This article was written by Rebekah Pewitt on WTVF in Nashville.


Sauntore Thomas sued his former employer, Enterprise Leasing Company of Detroit, for racial discrimination and according to The Detroit Free Press was offered a confidential settlement.

When Sauntore Thomas went to cash that settlement, TCF bank refused to deposit or cash the check, accused him of fraud, called the police and had him humiliated. Police claim that the bank&rsquos computer system showed the check as illegitimate.

A TCF spokesperson, Tom Wennerberg, swears up-and-down that his company &ldquoabhors&rdquo racism and Mr. Thomas&rsquo Blackness had nothing to do with it.

Right. Sauntore Thomas ain&rsquot hearin&rsquo it.

&ldquoI didn&rsquot deserve treatment like that when I knew that the check was not fraudulent,&rdquo Thomas told the Free Press. &ldquoI&rsquom a United States veteran. I have an honorable discharge from the Air Force. They discriminated against me because I&rsquom black. None of this would have happened if I were white.&rdquo

Today, TCF issued an apology:

&ldquoWe apologize for the experience Mr. Thomas had at our banker center. Local police should not have been involved. We strongly condemn racism and discrimination of any kind. We take extra precautions involving large deposits and requests for cash and in this case, we were unable to validate the checks presented by Mr. Thomas and regret we could not meet his needs.&rdquo

Despite the fact that Thomas&rsquos settlement was confidential, TCF admitted to DFP that he presented them three checks one for $59,000 one for $27,000 and one for $13,000. During the fraud investigation at the bank, Thomas called his lawyer, Deborah Gordon, who sent over paperwork to verify the settlement but the bank wasn&rsquot hearing it.

&ldquoObviously, assumptions were made the minute he walked in based on his race. It&rsquos unbelievable that this guy got done with a race discrimination case and he&rsquos not allowed to deposit the checks based on his case? It&rsquos absolutely outrageous,&rdquo said Gordon, stressing all of this could have been avoided.

Thomas immediately closed his TCF account that day and deposited the checks into a new Chase bank account. They cleared within 12 hours&hellip

&ldquoI feel very intimidated because I knew that if I would have gotten loud, they would have had me on the ground for disturbance of the peace. But I didn&rsquot get loud. I didn&rsquot get confrontational. I did nothing,&rdquo Thomas said. &ldquoI had a very long journey and I feel like I have to go through the same thing again. It&rsquos frustrating, but I do know God is in control. I will be vindicated because I didn&rsquot do anything wrong.&rdquo


Man Sues Brookline Police, Claiming Racial Discrimination

A Boston man has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the town of Brookline, its police department and three of its officers, claiming he was racially profiled and wrongfully searched and arrested.

Chiuba E. Obele, who is Black, said the incidents took place in 2017 at a Brookline condominium where his girlfriend lives, according to the court document filed Thursday.

In the suit, Obele, who is acting as his own attorney, claims that, in October 2017, he was questioned by a white Brookline police officer, patted down and had his backpack searched without consent after he accidentally set off the alarm system in his girlfriend's home.

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Nearly a week later, police were called to the home for a tenant who allegedly made threats against Obele and his girlfriend. Obele claims the responding officer, who was white, was disbelieving of the nature of his relationship with his girlfriend. According to Obele, the officer "made a racist joke about young Black men dating older White women," and called him a "gold digger." Obele was 27 at the time and his girlfriend was 73.

"The Brookline Police Department is a department besieged by allegations of racism," according to the suit.

The document also describes a third incident when Obele was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and witness intimidation after his girlfriend's tenant alleged Obele attacked him.

In the court filing, Obele claimed his girlfriend's tenant filed a false police report, "to implicate Mr. Obele for a crime he did not commit."

The tenant is also listed as a defendant in the suit.

Brookline Town Administrator Mel Kleckner responded to the accusations in a public statement, saying neither the town nor the police department received a complaint from Obele before he had filed the lawsuit.

"The allegations in his complaint will be taken very seriously, and will be reviewed in accordance with appropriate legal process for all parties who are involved," Kleckner in a statement.


Watch the video: Πείτε ΟΧΙ στον ρατσισμό! Say NO to racism! (May 2022).