A Black man in Boston was locked up for being Black and trying to purchase breakfast at a Burger King. So how did his #EatingWhileBlack experience happen?
Emory Ellis, a homeless man, went to the fast food restaurant in November 2015 to get something to eat. He posed no threat, as he was only hungry. But Ellis, now 37, got a huge wake-up call about racism when he handed his $10 bill to a cashier. The restaurant said his money was funny—meaning counterfeit—and he was escorted out of the location in handcuffs by Boston police who were called to the scene by the cashier. But that’s not all: He got more than three months in jail over the incident. Wow.
This man was wrongfully accused of carrying fake bills, and now he is suing the fast food giant for nearly $1 million, Law 360, a digital legal news service, reported Tuesday. His lawsuit said that he was discriminated against because of his appearance, a horror that has caught more national attention with the growing number of video recorded incidents of Whites calling the police on Black people who were racial profiled.
It’s likely that the cashier wouldn’t have thought twice about the money being real, or even dreamed of calling police, if a White man handed him the same bill, Ellis’s attorney Justin Drechsler said in the civil rights suit, which was filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court.
Ellis wants $950,000 after he was charged with forgery of a bank note. The arrest was in violation of his probation, and he was detained without bail for three months until a final probation violation hearing. He was finally released in February 2016 when prosecutors dropped the forgery charge once federal agents determined that Ellis’s bill was real, according to the lawsuit. However, Ellis never was reimbursed for his money.
More and more calls for justice are being raised to help people of color who are confronted by authorities because of someone else’s racism. The cop calling just has to stop. Period.