By Luke Visconti and Sheryl Estrada
Lloyd Edward Johnson used his gun to threaten four Somali-American teens at an Eden Prairie, Minn., McDonald’s. The racist has been arrested.
At 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, police arrested the 55-year-old under probable cause for second-degree assault, the city of Eden Prairie said, in a statement. Johnson is in custody at the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center.
On Monday evening at McDonald’s, one of the teens attempted to pay for food with Apple Pay, but had issues getting it to work. Johnson made a comment that they were trying to pay with an EBT card —a card that allows state welfare departments to issue benefits. Farida Osman asked him if he said that because they are Black.
“Just because I’m Black, doesn’t mean I use EBT,” Osman said to him, according to MuslimGirl.com.
Johnson and the teens got into an argument and he began “cussing them out.” As he became increasingly aggressive, Amal Mohammed had to call for her friend seated in a booth nearby because she thought Johnson might physically harm her.
Videos were recorded by one of the teenagers and posted to Twitter.
In the following video, one of the teens yells, “He has a gun,” and the group turns to run away from the man, who exits the store. The teens then tell the white, female store manager what just happened.
Her response: “I don’t give a f**k, get out of my store now.”
(Warning: Explicit language)
@McDonalds is this what you stand for We were just trying to order when this man said racist remarks, claimed to be touched (when really he pushed a kid as seen on video) pulled a gun out on kids and you still kick us out knowing we’re in danger 1/2 pic.twitter.com/3vKXsxhuwH
— farida (@snatchingedgess) November 20, 2018
The police were eventually called.
Steve Easterbrook is the president and CEO of McDonald’s. Easterbrook leads a predominantly white corporate executive leadership team with only one Black man. McDonald’s has never participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies competition.
The owner and operator of the Eden Prairie McDonald’s franchise location, Paul Ostergaard, said in a statement: “Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our customers and employees. We take this matter seriously and are working with local law enforcement while we investigate the situation.”
The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a Facebook post that the occurrence at McDonald’s was another “hate incident.” Minnesota has the nation’s largest Somali population at an estimated 57,000.
Just last week, in St. Cloud, a white man, along with his son, dumped deer carcasses on the hoods of two cars owned by Somali-American men, according to The Associated Press.
Reader Question: Should the manager at the McDonald’s in Eden Prairie be held accountable for her behavior toward the teens