Farida Osman says she and some friends were trying to order food at a McDonald’s when a man made a “racist” comment.
That man — identified as 55-year-old Lloyd Edward Johnson — ended the dispute on Monday by flashing a gun at the teenagers, who are black and Muslim, police say, according KTSP5.
He then left the fast food restaurant, video shows. But while he was arrested Wednesday under probable cause for second-degree assault, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement condemning how the workers at the McDonald’s treated the group of teens.
Osman told the magazine Muslim Girl that she and her friend Jihan Abdullahi were trying to pay for food with Apple Pay at a McDonald’s in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, but they couldn’t get the payment to go through.
“They weren’t really familiar with it, so it took them a while to work it out, but they still couldn’t figure it out, so they gave up,” she told the magazine.
Once they canceled the order, Abdullahi says, the man uttered an offensive comment: “You were paying with EBT; that’s why it didn’t work,” according to the Star-Tribune.
EBT is short for electronic bank transfer, which is a welfare program that helps recipients pay for food. A HuffingtonPost/YouGov poll in February found that Americans overestimate the number of black people who use welfare programs.
After Johnson’s alleged comment, a verbal confrontation ensued, the teens say.
“Just because I’m black you think my friends and I live under EBT?’ Abdullahi recalled asking, according to the Star-Tribune.
Osman says the man started “cussing them out,” and some of her male friends who were sitting in a nearby booth came to see what was going on, according to Muslim Girl. That’s when he pulled out the gun, she said.
Osman shared a video of the incident on Twitter, where it has been shared more than 7,000 times and viewed more than 2 million times.
The teens shout out in shock when they see the man flash his gun at them, the video shows, and two employees at the McDonald’s yell at the group to leave the store.
“He has a gun!” one person is heard shouting after the man exited the McDonald’s.
A female employee shouts for the group of teens to “get out,” but an unidentified customer at the store argues that it’s dangerous to have the teens leave if the man is outside with a gun.
“I understand that,” she responds, before turning to the group of teens. “I want everybody out of my store, now!”
“He has a gun,” one of the teens is heard responding.
“I don’t give a f---,” the worker says. “Get out of my store now.”
Warning: The video below has profane language.
The unidentified customer again sticks up for the teens, telling the worker to call the police instead of sending them outside. He warns that they might “get shot by some crazy guy” as some of the teens again urge the workers at the store to call 911.
A second video shared by Osman shows a male employee telling the teens that “I didn’t blame you ... I’m saying he pulled the gun out for a reason.”
“I didn’t say why,” the male worker continues.
Osman wrote on Twitter that she and her friends were put into a frightening situation.
“It was terrifying because we were scared he was waiting for us outside,” she wrote, “so we stayed inside listening to the managers yell at us and blame us.”
CAIR-Minnesota said in a statement that Jaylani Hussein, its executive director, “is concerned about the actions of the McDonald’s employees who are shown on video ordering the Muslim teens to leave the restaurant even though the man who allegedly displayed the gun was likely outside.”
The group also thanked local police “for their swift and professional investigation leading to this arrest.”
Paul Ostergaard, who owns the Eden Prairie McDonald’s, told the Eden Prairie News that “we take this matter seriously and are working with local law enforcement while we investigate this situation.”