A Dunkin franchise owner apologized to a young Somali woman and her family after a shop clerk called the police for speaking in their mother tongue in Portland, Maine.
Hamdia Ahmed, 20, says she, her brother and her mother went to a Dunkin ', which they often meet for coffee after a long morning on Monday. While Ahmed waits to place her order, he says that the family was in Somali when an employee at the microphone refused to serve and threatened to call the police.
Ahmed says she parked the car and went to the store to confront the employee. When she asked the employee why she threatened to call the police, the clerk said the family had screamed and called Ahmed "excited." The clerk finally called the police when the people in Dunkin & # 39; went off with Ahmed, she says.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Afraid the police could follow her home Said Ahmed, she decided to wait until they reached the Dunkin & # 39; site After Ahmed had given her a report on the incident, she received a no-trespass notice which prevented her from doing so into the store for a year. "data-reactid =" 26 "> Afraid that the police might follow her to her apartment, Ahmed decided to wait for her arrival at the Dunkin location. After reporting the incident to the police officer, Ahmed received a no-trespass notice which prevents them from returning to the store for a year.
Ahmed asked the officer what she did wrong. He answered that the drive-through microphones can sometimes sound loud and cause misunderstandings. He told their companies that they have the right to cheat anyone "for no reason," she says, and officials from the Portland Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.
Ahmed, an activist and student at the University of Southern Maine has posted a video of her drive-in experience on Twitter The video does not include the exchange Ahmed had with the employee, only part of the argument between women Ahmed hears you ask, "You will not respect me, because I speak a language other than you? Is that what it is? "The employee replies," It has nothing to do with your language. You can leave. I do not want to hear it. I'm done with it. You can go or I call the police. "
People, I need your help." Today, my family and I want @dunkindonuts . "Before we put our order through the dr thru, we were told that we should go to speak in our native language We were called a "bitch." The police were called to us and can not go back now.I am disgusted. pic.twitter.com/A1foloR1ma
– Hamdia Ahmed (@hamdia_ahmed) 15 October 2018
The incident became viral, a Dunkin company representative wanted to apologize to Ahmed, she says, and on Wednesday Dunkin's shopkeeper Dave DaRosa met with Ahmed to apologize again and DaRosa did not immediately return a request for a comment.
Dunkin & # 39; s drop the "donuts" from their original Dunkin Donuts title this year let, confirmed the meeting between DaRosa and Ahmed in a statement on Friday.
"Dunkin" Our franchisees strive to create a positive customer experience for all our guests, "the company said." The franchisee, who owns and operates the business, has apologized for having met with the guest sincerely with her for the bad experience and working to provide additional service training to his store staff. "
The experience, Ahmed says, traumatized her and her family, says Ahmed says her brother, who is older than her, was with McDonalds in order to avoid meeting the police because he is "scared as a black man in America." Her mother said she had seen stories of police officers on black people in the news, but never expected it to happen to her. "She was what if this land is like that, where do we go then? "" Ahmed says.
What Ahmed wants now is responsibility for people whose first instinct is to call the police on blacks.
"Change is the first step, and even if I wanted those employees to be fired, I know these people work to survive, I understand," she says. "There has to be accountability, whether it's training or whatever it is to make sure it does not happen again."