Twenty five people are suing a Cleveland area restaurant and staff members who they say racially discriminated against them.
Chandra Law Firm LLC filed the suit Monday. It stems from an incident in June during which attorneys say managers at Bahama Breeze falsely told police a group of African American customers were causing a disturbance and threatening to leave without paying their bill.
Subodh Chandra is one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. He said there was no need for the managers to call police. His clients were simply asking for their checks, and Bahama Breeze staff racially profiled them.
In the 911 call, a manager requests police presence for “unruly guests.”
“If you describe it as ‘unruly’ instead of simply asking for better treatment and to be provided with the checks that they had requested, then I guess we’re all unruly when we ask for service at a restaurant,” Chandra said. “But there was nothing on towards shouting or physical behavior or anything that would have justified a call to 911 and police intervention.”
Chandra added that the plaintiffs are respected in the community, and many are members of the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sorority.
In 2009, 37 black workers at that same Bahama Breeze sued the restaurant for racial harassment. The company settled for $1.26 million dollars.
This is the 911 call made by the restaurant staff to police:
Editor's Note: This story has been corrected to indicate the restaurant is located in Orange Village, not Beachwood.