Two Black Truckers were racially profiled in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last month after trying to get a meal at a local Denny’s.
Civil rights attorneys Harry Daniels and Erica Wilson, who were hired to represent Damon Whitfield and Hector Madera, say a waitress named Anne Fletcher refused to serve the two Black men who had calmly tried to order breakfast. After the men were not served, another Denny’s employee called 911 on the men.
Fletcher claimed that Whitfield and Madera were being unruly and confrontational, but attorneys say that was far from the truth.
“We’re talking about two hard-working men trying to get something to eat before they went back to work just like anyone else,” Wilson told NewsOne. “Instead, this waitress discriminated against them, humiliated them and put them in an incredibly dangerous position just because they were Black. No one deserves that.”
In newly released audio from the 911 call, the caller can be heard claiming that the Black truckers, residents of Philadelphia, are “unruly” and “very confrontational” saying that the men are “harassing the team kind of following them around the restaurant.
The 911 call was placed by Denny’s regional manager Michael Fletcher, also of Sioux Falls. It is unknown whether or not the pair are married.
Video of the incident shows a very different story with both Whitfield and Madera sitting calmly at their table while a waitress ignores them in order to serve white customers including those who had come in after the Black men.
When police arrived on the scene, officers assessed the situation. After a brief conversation, one of the officers can be heard apologizing to Whitfield and Madera for their ordeal saying “I’m sorry that happened to you.”
“This waitress thought she could shout ‘angry Black man’ and the police would just strongarm her own bigotry,” Daniels told NewsOne. “We’re just lucky that these officers saw through the dog whistle. Otherwise, this could have turned into a tragedy.”
It’s unclear if either Anne or Michael Fletcher will be cited for false reporting to authorities, but we will update this story accordingly.
Click here to listen to the 911 call audio.
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