A Subway employee called the police on a black family for using the restroom a “suspicious” number of times. She has now reportedly has been placed on administrative leave.
The white female employee, identified only as Sandra, had called the police because she thought the family was going to rob the restaurant.
A family, with four kids.
The Dobsons were returning from their grandmother’s birthday party when they decided to have dinner at a local Subway in Georgia.
Othniel and Felicia Dobson, along with their children, aged 19, 13, 12, and 8, made the stop but they had no idea what was going to follow next.
“One employee, a white woman named Sandra, wasn’t that friendly — it seemed like she was making our sandwiches begrudgingly — but we didn’t pay much attention,” Felicia told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We paid for our food, sat at a table, and I read a few pages of my book.”
During the meal, Othniel passed the employee on his way to the car when he heard her talking on the phone.
“My husband heard her say, ‘They’re leaving now.’ He asked her if there was a problem, and she ran back into the store, upset,” Felicia added.
After the dinner, Felicia told her kids to use the bathroom as they had a long journey ahead. They paid for the food and left Subway, only to be confronted by a police officer.
“He had received a call that we didn’t pay for our food,” said Felicia. “He explained that Sandra felt we were suspicious, and because she had been robbed before, she was afraid we would rob her.”
ABC news affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta obtained a recording of the 911 call, in which a woman can be heard saying, “I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now. There’s about eight people in a van, and they’ve been in the store for about an hour. They keep going back and forth to the bathrooms by my back door.”
Not only did Sandra not mention the “eight people” in the van were a family with kids, she also allegedly lied about the Dobsons not paying for their meal.
Despite giving so much trouble to a family for simply wanting to eat out, in what seems to be a crystal case of racial discrimination, Sandra was put on an administrative leave, according to WFMY-TV.
The franchise owner and the police officer both apologized to the family for the incident.
“Fortunately, the police officer who responded was well-trained and professional,” said Felicia. “He told us, ‘I am so sorry this happened to you.’”
“Respect for every individual is a core value of Subway. It is our expectation and each Franchisee’s goal to make sure that every guest will always be treated with the respect and integrity they deserve. The Franchisee has personally apologized to the family and the employee in question has been placed on leave until a full review is completed,” a spokeswoman for Subway said in a statement.
However, Felicia said the toughest part of the ordeal was to see it take a toll on her children.
She said her 13-year-old cried while leaving the restaurant after the incident and her oldest felt hopeless.
Felicia added she has to keep explaining to her 8-year-old what happened. “He keeps asking, ‘Why do we have to keep telling people about this?’ He understands our family was racially profiled. I tell him it’s about spreading awareness.”
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Jason Lee