A Subway sandwich shop in Coweta County, Georgia was the scene of yet another racially motivated incident involving a suspicious staff and African Americans.
Driving home to North Carolina after a quick vacation to celebrate their grandmother’s birthday in southern Georgia, a family of seven pulled into the chain restaurant in this Atlanta exurb to enjoy a meal. Felicia and Othniel Dobson and their kids ordered and paid for food and drinks, sat at tables inside to eat, and decided to use the restroom when they were done. They spent about an hour there all told.
That, apparently, was a line too far for the Subway staff on duty, who grew suspicious of the family for doing things people normally do inside restaurants, and then called the the police.
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“I need somebody to come through here please, ASAP. Now,” the employee told the dispatcher over the phone. “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.”
You read that correctly. They kept using the bathroom. That was their crime.
“A Newnan police officer showed up,” according to a report by local WSB-TV. “The Dobsons said the officer apologized and told them the employee had said she was suspicious of the family and that she has been robbed before and thought they would rob her.”
” ‘I don’t think she ever felt threatened,” Othniel Dobson said. ‘We can’t change our skin color. I have great kids. I have a great family.’ Subway franchisee Rosh Patel sent WSB-TV the following statement”
Rosh Patel, the owner of that particular Subway location, was not present when the incident took place, but he issued a sternly worded statement that didn’t offer and apology to the Dobsons, but did at least show that he is treating the matter with some urgency.
“I take this very seriously,” the statement reads in part, “and I am fully investigating. I have also used this opportunity to reiterate to my staff the importance of making everyone feel welcome.”
When employees at a Starbucks in Philadelphia did something similar to two Black customers recently, the company CEO quickly apologized and closed all of its stores for an afternoon to conduct racial bias training. We’ll see if Subway has the wisdom to follow their example.
You can watch WSB-TV’s original report here.