A Dairy Queen in Zion, Illinois has been closed after its owner used a racial slur while quarreling with a customer.
The AP reports that franchise owner Jim Crichton called 21-year-old customer Deianeira Ford and her children—a two-year-old girl and five-month-old boy—a racial slur. He moreover proclaimed that he was “fed up with black people” and professed willingness to go to jail over the matter. According to a Zion police report, Crichton used the slur after Ford told him her order hadn’t been filled correctly, and that she would like a refund.
“It was really just upsetting especially with having my children in the car,” Ford told the AP. “I mean, no one deserves to be treated like that.” Ford, a resident of Tinley Park, Illinois, is considering legal action.
On Saturday, protestors demonstrated outside Crichton’s Dairy Queen. The corporation has moreover condemned his actions as “reprehensible” and emphasized that they are not indicative of Dairy Queen’s values. And both Zion’s mayor and its police chief have voiced their support of Ford.
“I’m disgusted and discouraged by the comments made by this business owner,” Police Chief Stephen Dumyahn said to the AP. “I reached out to Miss Ford to tell her that this does not represent the diverse community of Zion.”
Meanwhile, Crichton has not been charged for his actions. He has issued an apology via American Dairy Queen Corporation and stated his intention to attend sensitivity training.
“My actions were inexcusable and unacceptable,” he said. “I can only ask for forgiveness and try to make it up to all involved.”