Homeless black man jailed for three months after trying to buy a burger is now suing

Lowenna Waters
Saturday 19 May 2018 15:00
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Picture:(ilbusca / iStock by Getty)

A homeless man who was jailed for three months after trying to buy a burger at Burger King with a ten dollar bill has filed a law suit against the conglomerate.

Emory Ellis, a black homeless man from Boston, Massachusetts, went into a Burger King outlet one morning because he wanted to buy breakfast,

But, instead, he was put in handcuffs and taken to the police station when the person at the till accused him of using a counterfeit $10 to pay for his food.

He was arrested in November 2015 and wasn't released until February 2016.

Now Ellis is suing the fast food joint for $950,000, saying he was discriminated against because of his appearance.

Ellis' lawyer said the cashier likely wouldn't have questioned the money if it was handed to them by a white man in a suit.

A person like me would’ve gotten an apology, but a person like Emory somehow finds his way in handcuffs for trying to pay for his breakfast with real money.

Speaking to AP, a spokesman for Burger King said that the company doesn't tolerate discrimination of any kind, but can't comment on the specifics of the case.

The company also specified that the franchise is responsible for employee training and handling legal matters.

Ellis' lawyer commented:

Nobody deserves to be treated the way Emory was treated.

The scandal comes hot on the heels of a number of instances in America where the police have been called on black people for just going about their daily lives.

In April, two black men were arrested in Starbucks because they were sitting in the cafe without having bought anything.

Earlier this month, a white student at Yale University called the police because a black student was taking a nap in the common room.

In May, a white woman called the police on a black family because they were having a BBQ, and another white woman called the police when a black property developed inspected one of his homes.

More: White woman calls police on black property developer inspecting a house because 'he has no right to be in her neighborhood'

More: A white woman called the police on a black family for having a BBQ by a lake

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