An Illinois Dairy Queen franchise store owner is making national headlines after calling a customer the N-word, among other racial slurs. A young woman, Deianeira Ford, 21, requested a refund when her order could not be properly filled, at which point franchisee Jim Crichton grew agitated and began his verbal assault – in front of her children.
From the Chicago Tribune: Ford, who is biracial, said she did not receive her full order and asked for a refund after she was told she could not get the rest of it. The 21-year-old Ford alleged that when she asked for a refund of her $5, the store owner, who is white, called her and her children racial slurs.
In a report the Zion Police Department released Thursday, the responding officer wrote that the store owner, who corporate officials later identified as a franchisee, “proudly admitted” to calling the woman and her children the racial slurs and said he “would be happy go to jail over the issue.”
On Facebook, Ford wrote that at one point her daughter asked what the racial slur meant. Her post also said that when she asked the owner his name, he first said it was “‘Bill Clinton’” and then said, “‘better yet, I’m Donald Trump,’ and told me to go back where I came from.”
As mentioned, Crichton initially admitted to hurling the N-word at Ford, but his story changed on Thursday afternoon. According to the site, Crichton’s follow-up commentary went as follows: “It’s 99 percent lies. This is blown so far out of proportion it’s stupid. Her order was confusing, and I told her, ‘Here’s your money back,’” he said. “This is so far blown out of proportion.”
When first confronted by authorities, however, police say Crichton felt justified in being “fed up with Black people.”
After hearing Ford’s story, the officer approached the man, who appeared “angry and was pacing continually back and forth 180 degrees around me. He was also slightly shaking.”
“I asked him what happened with Ford and told him she was so disturbed by his behavior she was willing to sign a complaint against him,” the officer wrote. “(He) boastfully told me he would be happy to go to jail over the issue and proudly admitted to calling Ford a slur. He added that he is ‘fed up with black people,’” according to the officer’s report.
The owner then described how the night before, two “of them” were in his restaurant squirting ketchup all over the floor, the officer wrote. The store owner used slurs “freely to describe black people,” the report said.
Police Chief Stephen Dumyahn said in a statement Thursday, “Although we recognize the rights of business owners and managers to operate their business as they choose, under the law, we do not condone the inflammatory language that was used or the way this customer was treated.”
Dairy Queen’s corporate headquarters also reached out with a statement:
“On behalf of the hardworking DQ franchisees and employees around the world, we apologize for the inappropriate actions of this franchisee in Zion,” Dean Peters’ statement on the company’s behalf said. “… It is not what our brand stands for and is not representative of American Dairy Queen Corporation or its franchisee community.
“We expect our franchisees and their employees to treat every single person who walks through their doors with the utmost dignity and respect. Nothing less is acceptable,” the statement added. “Nearly all DQ restaurants are run by individual owners. Nevertheless, it is vital that they understand the importance of treating all of our fans with great respect.”
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune