Minnesota investigators are reviewing an incident at an Eden Prairie McDonald’s in which a white man allegedly pulled a gun on a group of black Muslims teens.
Some of the confrontation was captured in a short video which shows a group of teenagers, some of whom are wearing hijabs, gathered around the man. As one teen approaches the older man, he shoves the teen and heads to the door, before he turns around and seems to pull a gun out on the kids.
The gun isn’t visible in the video, but the reaction once he turns around is instantaneous, with the teens jumping back and cries of “he has a gun” rippling throughout the restaurant.
What’s arguably as disturbing—if not more so—are the reactions of the McDonald’s staffers, who immediately tell the kids to leave the store.
A white woman, presumably the store manager, approaches the teens and begins yelling at them to leave the store. When one of them tells her the man who just left had a gun on him, she yells back, “I don’t give a fuck. Get out of my store, now!”
Another McDonald’s customer intervenes, admonishing the manager for sending the kids outside after someone just pulled a gun on them.
“Don’t send them out there when the dude just pulled a fucking gun on them,” one man says. “You better call the fucking cops, is what you gotta do.”
According to 16-year-old Farida Osman, who BuzzFeed reports posted the video, another McDonald’s employee told the group the man “pulled out a gun ... for a reason.”
According to HuffPost, the Eden Prairie Police Department said Tuesday it was investigating the “disorderly conduct” incident following a 911 call placed from the McDonald’s.
As to what started the confrontation, one of the teens, Farida Osman, told the website Muslim Girl that a friend was attempting to pay for her order with Apple Pay when the white man said, “You’re probably using EBT”—a form of welfare benefits.
She immediately turned to him and said, “Just because I’m black, doesn’t mean I use EBT,” Farida recounted to Muslim Girl. The argument escalated as she and the man went back and forth, and her friends came to her aid.
If the EBT comment didn’t make it abundantly clear, Farida told BuzzFeed News she believes the man—who still hasn’t been identified—profiled her and her friends.
“I think it’s because we were black and Muslim,” Farida said. “I’ve had people being racist towards me before, but I’ve never had a gun pulled on me until now.” She explained that as a Somali in Minnesota, racial profiling wasn’t unusual.
“Usually people brush it aside,” she said. “They look at our skin color and the hijab and say, ‘What does that matter?’”
“I’m so thankful that one man was there,” Farida added, referring to the customer who intervened as the store manager tried to force them out. “I feel like if he wasn’t there, we would have had to leave; they would’ve called the cops on us.”
“We’re children,” she said—because white adults so frequently need to be reminded of this when facing black and brown kids. “If the good guy who helped us wasn’t there to help us, we would’ve been kicked out and we could’ve been shot.
“At the end of the day, it’s a group of black people against the managers,” Farida continued. “That’s why I took the video, so if something happened, we could be taken seriously.”
McDonald’s has yet to make an official statement on the incident.