A Chicago restaurant manager, has been placed on suspension after he allegedly threw a chair at a Black teen who had walked into his restaurant last week.
“I’ll kick your a–,” the restaurant’s manager, Matthew Fezzey reportedly yelled toward 18-year-old John “Kyle” Johnson. “This is my place of business.”
Moments later, Fezzey swung a chair at him, Johnson said, hitting his arm so hard that the teen reportedly suffered injuries. That’s when Johnson called the police and began filming the encounter.
“I was super shocked, I was scared, thinking: ‘Is this is really happening right now?’ Johnson told The Washington Post. “I looked into his eyes, and they were super furious.”
In the recorded conversation right after the incident, Fezzey can be heard repeatedly acknowledging he was “in the wrong” and says his reaction was his “first instinct” after previous encounters with Black men at the restaurant.
“Two days ago, and I’m not trying to be racist, two Black guys robbed two people right here,” he said.
“But sir, you threw a chair at me,” Johnson says. “I’m not those guys.”
“Listen, three days ago, before that, I had two more black guys. I actually fought them in here,” Fezzey replied. “They tried threatening one of my employees, and I had to fight them … when you guys came in here, I just got really … defensive, really defensive, because I had to fight them off all the time. These security guards over here don’t do a … thing.”
The video was posted to Facebook last week and has been viewed over 20,000 times. The Washington Post reports, Chicago Police said in an email that Fezzey claimed Johnson clenched his fists, and behaved in a way that made him “believe he was going to receive battery.”
Johnson denies those allegations.
In a statement posted to social media on Friday, the restaurant apologized and said that as a minority-owned establishment, it does not “tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind.”
Fezzey has been suspended for the duration of the police investigation, the statement said.
According to the Washington Post, a restaurant spokesperson said any other incidents at the location mentioned in the video were not reported.