A tropical-themed restaurant in Cleveland has been accused of racial profiling after calling the police on a group of black sorority members to ensure they paid their bar tabs while they were celebrating one of their sisters’ book deals.
The Plain Dealer newspaper reported that a manager at the Bahama Breeze restaurant in Orange Village — an affluent Cleveland suburb — called police on the group of roughly 40 Delta Sigma Theta members after a woman who was celebrating with them said she was going to leave after waiting 25 minutes to pay her bill.
The woman ultimately stayed and paid the bill, but the manager called the police anyway. According to a police report on the incident, the manager claimed other sorority members threatened to walk out on their tabs and caused a “disturbance” by using profanity — a characterization Delta Sigma Theta member Chante Spencer said is “totally not true.”
“Police were standing there to make sure everyone paid, which we felt was racial profiling,” Spencer told the Plain Dealer, emphasizing that she spoke as an individual and not for the sorority.
“Members of the group — which included a doctor, a judge, educators and other professionals from the Cleveland area – became upset by what they perceived as case of profiling by a manager,” the report noted based on Spencer’s account.
No arrests were made and all of the women paid their bar tabs, the police told the newspaper. They were there for roughly an hour, as per their report.