A homeless man trying to buy food from Burger King files a hefty lawsuit against the fast-food chain.
Yep. Burger King, too.
Emory Ellis, a black homeless man in Boston, is suing Burger King and its franchisee Two Guys Foods, Inc., for $950,000, saying he was discriminated against.
Back in 2015, Ellis went into one of the franchisee’s locations to buy something to eat. But instead, staff called the police, claiming he had given them counterfeit money. The money wasn't fake, yet Ellis ended up serving three months behind bars.
Three years later, Ellis is suing, saying it was all because of his appearance. “A person like me would've gotten an apology, but a person like Emory somehow finds his way in handcuffs for trying to pay for his breakfast with real money," said Ellis’ lawyer, Justin Drechsler, who's white.
Burger King Corp. has pushed the incident back on the franchisee. Its spokesperson said the company does not tolerate discrimination "of any kind," but cannot comment on the specifics of the case. They said, the franchisee is responsible for employee training and handling legal matters.
Ellis was arrested in November 2015 and charged with forgery of a banknote. Unfortunately, the incident opened a can of worms, as his arrest triggered a probation violation. He was held up, without bail, until his final probation violation hearing, according to the lawsuit. He was released in February 2016, when prosecutors dropped the charge after the Secret Service concluded Ellis' bill was real, the lawsuit says.
This scenario ties in with a series of racially-motivated incidents happening throughout the country. What’s also interesting, is that fast-food chains, like Burger King are strategically placed in impoverished neighbourhoods. So, if a person below the poverty line can’t even go to a place that’s targeted towards them, then where else can they go?
Maybe Glover will holler at Ellis for season three.