Racial Profiling at High Scale Restaurant

On August 20, a black police officer and his wife, a high school principal, were asked to leave Houston’s restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee because the manager said they smelled like marijuana. The officer, Marcus Mosby, and his wife were both offended by the manager’s accusations of racial profiling.

Incident at Houston’s

According to Officer Mosby, the manager said, “there’s a strong smell of marijuana coming from your party in this area.” Officer Mosby responded, “ma’am, we don’t smoke marijuana. You’re mistaken.” The manager then got another employee’s opinion, but Officer Mosby and his family refused to leave and were seated. The manager then apologized and said she was mistaken. Officer Mosby asked the manager, “why did you just racially profile us?” The manager said, “I’m sorry. That was just a bad mistake.”

Statement from the Restaurant

The restaurant issued a statement obtained by a local affiliate, Fox 13, which said, “Mr. Mosby dined with us Saturday with his family, but we detected a strong presence of marijuana with arriving guests. We do refuse service as the odor can affect others dining. We made a mistake in attributing the odor to Mr. Mosby’s party and apologized. We were happy to welcome him in and take care of his experience on us on Saturday.”

Previous Claims of Racism at Houston’s

This was not the first claim of racism at Houston’s restaurant. In October 2017, Atlanta rapper TI led a boycott against an Atlanta-area Houston’s after a woman claimed the restaurant staff refused to seat her large party despite seating other parties of the same size.

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Conclusion

The officer’s experience at the restaurant highlights the ongoing problem of racial profiling in the United States. The stigma of marijuana in this country is a relic of white supremacy, and the assumption that black people smell like marijuana is a form of implicit racism. The restaurant’s apology and statement do not address the underlying problem and it is important for them to take steps to address and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Where did the incident of racial profiling at Houston's restaurant take place?

The incident took place at a Houston's restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee.

What were the occupations of the black police officer and his wife who were asked to leave the restaurant?

The black police officer was a 28-year veteran of the police force and his wife was a high school principal.

What did the manager of the restaurant say was the reason for asking the officer and his family to leave?

The manager of the restaurant said that there was a strong smell of marijuana coming from the officer's party and that was the reason for asking them to leave.

How did the officer respond to the manager's accusations of smelling like marijuana?

The officer said that he and his family did not smoke marijuana and that the manager was mistaken.

What did the restaurant say in its statement about the incident?

The restaurant issued a statement saying that they detected a strong presence of marijuana with arriving guests and that they made a mistake in attributing the odor to the officer's party. They apologized and said they were happy to welcome him in and take care of his experience.

Have there been previous claims of racism at Houston's restaurant?

Yes, in October 2017, Atlanta rapper TI led a boycott against an Atlanta-area Houston's after a woman claimed the restaurant staff refused to seat her large party despite seating other parties of the same size.

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