A Restaurant Manager Was Fired After Allegedly Throwing A Chair At A Black Teen
In a video taken after the incident, the restaurant manager says it was his "first instinct" to attack an 18-year-old because he had recently had to fight other black people.
A manager who allegedly threw a chair at a black teen inside his restaurant in Chicago last week has been fired.
John "Kyle" Johnson, 18, recorded the conversation right after the incident, in which the manager says he had recently had to fight other black people and admits that "it was wrong."
The restaurant manager, Matthew Fezzey, said "I’ll kick your ass" when Johnson entered the restaurant, according to Johnson, who spoke with the Washington Post. "This is my place of business."
Fezzey then allegedly swung a chair at Johnson.
Afterward, Johnson started filming and Fezzey said, "I'm not trying to be racist," but other black people had recently robbed him, so he got really "fucking defensive."
"But sir, you threw a chair at me," Johnson says in the video. "I’m not those guys."
Fezzey swears several times throughout the video and says it was his "first instinct."
Ja'Mal Green posted the video on Facebook and it has now been viewed over 25,000 times.
Chicago police told the Washington Post that the manager claimed Johnson clenched his fist and made him believe he was going to be hit. Police also reported that two witnesses in the restaurant said the teen threatened them with something in his backpack that "would end them."
Johnson denied those allegations, the Washington Post reported.
"My client is considering all options at this time; however, his desire is to resolve this issue quickly and quietly," Johnson's attorney, Anish Parikh, said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News. "He is hopeful that his incident will inspire not just the business to facilitate change, but also the community as a whole."
BuzzFeed News has contacted the Chicago police for more information.
The restaurant posted a statement online saying the way the manager reacted was "unacceptable" and that the business does not tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind.
Fezzey was suspended for the duration of the police investigation, but hours later, the restaurant released a statement saying he was fired.
"First, we again extend our sincere apology to Mr. Johnson for the experience he endured last week. No one should be treated the way he was," the restaurant said. "We will also be providing our staff with management and sensitivity training on customer interaction and conflict de-escalation, so an event like this does not happen again."
According to the Washington Post, a restaurant spokesperson said any other incidents at the location mentioned in the video were not reported.